Registration ends June 1.
Summer camp season is around the corner and that has Lauren Camp of Middletown quite busy making preparations for yet another “Days of Summer” – a five day event for children with Down syndrome.
Held in Middletown since 2012, Days of Summer has attracted children from all across the state for fun-filled days of around-the-clock activities. About 100 children are expected this year.
Days of Summer was Camp’s senior project while she was a student at Appoquinimink High School. Its success drew the attention of the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware (DSA) which decided to sponsor the summer event from then on, keeping Camp as the coordinator.
This year, Days of Summer will be held at Alfred G. Waters Middle School in Middletown from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 1-5. The registration is open until June 1 for children ages 3 to 13 and their siblings ages 3 to 10.
Word of mouth about the camp has spread over the years and the event will be held in Milford for the first time in June. About 20 children are expected to attend, Camp said.
“There were many parents downstate that wanted their children to come to camp, but didn’t want the hour drive to Middletown, so now we’ll be able to provide the program there,” she explained. “It’ll be set up like the camp in Middletown, but it’s only going to be for three days.”
At Days of Summer, each child and their sibling are paired with volunteer counselors. A certified teacher and two nurses are also on site to attend to any needs.
“We have a lot of returning volunteer counselors – many of them have stayed with me through the years and always want to come back and help,” Camp said. “It’s really nice because they have experience with the camp and they’re often paired with same camper so it’s nice that they get to see each other each summer.”
Camp said that Days of Summer has been growing every year. A lot of that growth has to do with more awareness that this unique camp exists, but also with an increase in births of children with Down syndrome.
Parents of children with Down syndrome have told Camp that they like the experience for their kids because it gives them a good chance to make friends and also gain some independence, especially for the younger ones who haven’t started pre-school or kindergarten yet.
“I’m so glad that there is a new for this camp and the response from the community has really been tremendous in regards to donors from local businesses as well as the counselors and adult volunteers,” she said.
WHAT Days of Summer Camp for children ages 3 to 13 with Down syndrome and their siblings
WHEN From Aug. 1-5 , 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Alfred G. Water Middletown School in Middletown
REGISTRATION The deadline to register is June 1. Registration at, http://dsadelaware.org/programs/days-of-summer-camp/
VOLUNTEERS Individuals between the ages of 16 and 22 who are interested in becoming volunteer counselors should contact Lauren Camp at 302-757-2303.