Camp for kids with disabilities next month in Austin

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 16, 2002

AUSTIN &045; Children with disabilities in the Austin and Albert Lea area have the chance to participate in a day camp next month in Austin’s Todd Park.

The camp is being put on by the Minneapolis-based Courage Center, whose mission is to empower people with physical disabilities to reach for their full potential in every aspect of life, said Randi Barrick, Courage Center’s regional program coordinator.

Children ages five through 14 are eligible to participate.

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&uot;We service kids that have a physical disability, speech impairment, kids with sensory impairments,&uot; Barrick said.

The camp gives the participants a chance to enjoy themselves in a different setting.

&uot;We don’t see the kid with a disability. We see the kid for the kid,&uot; Barrick said. &uot;(The camp) is safe and close to home. They can learn in the outdoors and it’s a way for the kids to learn independence and to be very active in activities we have.&uot;

The camp gives children a chance to interact with each other. It’s that interaction, Barrick said, that gives the campers a chance to communicate with others in their age group.

&uot;This is definitely a growing and building program,&uot; Barrick said. &uot;It’s made possible by participation.&uot;

The day camp, which runs from Aug. 5-9 and Aug. 12-16, costs $75. However, Barrick said no one is turned away because of inability to pay. The United Way of Mower County provides money to the center to help put on the camp, she said.

&uot;They play a ton of games. They do lots of craft things, both for boys and girls. They do fishing, swimming and field trips,&uot; Barrick said.

For information, call (763) 520-0505.