Lauren Camp’s Days of Summer Camp was such a success last week that she’s already planning on doing it again next year.
The rising Appoquinimink High School senior held a three-day camp for children with Down syndrome for three days last week as her senior project, as she said that it went better than she could have ever imagined.
A total of 30 children attended camp at the St. Anne’s Episcopal School from August 1 - 3. About 20 were children with Down syndrome and the rest were their siblings.
“We were lucky enough to have a volunteer for every child and also some extra volunteers, such as a nurse and teacher every day,” Camp said.
Several local businesses came out too, including M.O.T. Soccer.
“The kids loved soccer,” Camp said.
They also loved doing Zumba, which was led by an instructor from the Premier Center for the Arts, she said.
The Down Syndrome Association of Delaware provided the crafts, but the rest of the funding for the camp came through Camp’s fundraising efforts and local businesses.
“We did water play, soccer, karate, yoga, Zumba and many crafts,” Camp said. “I can’t wait to do it again next year for longer days and a full week.”
Even though Camp will be preparing to head off to college next summer, she still wants to hold camp again – this time in either June or July though.
And she wants to make it even bigger.
“I want to do it from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” she said. “Longer days and for a whole week.”
Before she can head off to college though, Camp still has to complete her senior project.
Towards the end of the coming school year, she will be giving a presentation on her project, as do other seniors.
Camp said that she hopes to attend American University in Washington D.C. for college.
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Camp has been working with children with Down syndrome since she was in the fourth grade.
It’s something that she loves to do.
“They’re always very friendly,” she said. “They’re always so full and life and see the positive side to everything.”
She chose to hold the Days of Summer Camp as her senior project so that she could do something for the children who have made her look at life differently.
With help from local businesses, volunteers, the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware and the community, Camp was able to turn the camp into a reality.
She branded it with a mission statement as well: “Days of Summer Camp strives to provide a fun, traditional summer camp experience for children ages four to 12 with Down syndrome and their siblings, at no cost for families.”
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