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The best week of the year

Lydia Johnson | Mar 09, 2017

Physical disabilities don’t discourage Kamp Casey kids from having the time of their lives. Physical disabilities don’t discourage Kamp Casey kids from having the time of their lives.

The countdown begins immediately after barracks close in August. Excited campers anticipate the seven days of fun they’ll have next year at Kiwanis Camp Casey in Whidbey Island, Washington.

Camp Casey is where children with physical disabilities who are ages six to 17 can enjoy a summer camp experience. The US$45,000 annual cost to run the camp has been funded fully by the North Central Seattle Kiwanis Club and several local sponsors. Their support allows 100 kids to attend yearly.

Every summer for the past 85 years, the camp has provided safe and interactive activities for kids with spina bifida, amputations, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. They are treated as individuals and aren’t characterized by their physical limitations. Each child has the opportunity to go horseback riding and participate in talent shows, go-kart racing and formal dances.

Barbara Williams, the camp director, knows the impact these experiences have on campers.

“They're around other kids who have similar disabilities and they see their independence,” Williams says. “There is a unique bond between the counselors and the campers.”

William’s volunteer service began as a teenager, and she recognizes the camp’s immense value in the community.

“The service and the joy and friendship,” Williams says. “It's really what a good life is all about.”

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