Help Needed For Orange Grove Campers

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The GG Camp Scholarship Fund is running behind this year on being able to provide enough scholarships for Orange Grove students who want to attend summer camp at Soddy Daisy.

Lizzy Cheek, camp director, said, "Since the 1960's, GG Camp has played a very important role in the lives of the individuals we serve at Orange Grove Center. Some campers have been attending for well over 50 years!  It was originally established by the Orange Grove founding families, and has remained an honored tradition ever since.

"Throughout the years, GG Camp has morphed into a week-long overnight Camp for adults (ages 18+) who have intellectual disabilities that are served by Orange Grove Center. Campers arrive on Sunday afternoon and stay through Friday morning. Throughout the week, the campers engage in activities such as arts and crafts, sports and games, horseback riding, canoeing, swimming, a talent show and a dance. All meals are provided along with nursing services to ensure dietary and medical needs are met.

"Over the past few years we have seen the cost of producing camp double. GG Camp is a self-sustaining program that is funded solely by our camper fees. We have seen a dramatic increase in the overall amount needed to cover the general needs of camp such as food, staff, activities, background screening, and medical professionals.  All expenses are necessary to offer our campers the safest week while at camp.  Many of our campers are finding themselves unable to attend due to budgetary restraints.

"The GG Camp Scholarship Fund was established to ensure no campers are left behind because of money. Out of the 75 campers we had last year, it is estimated that 30 will not be able to afford the $500 camper fee.  With this fundraiser, we will give each camper needing assistance a $250 scholarship.  So far we have raised $3,500 through our Crowdrise website (www.crowdrise.com/ggcampscholarshipfund) - enough to give 14 campers assistance.  We are shooting to raise an additional $5,000 by April 15.  This amount will guarantee adequate funds to help all campers that need it.

"Double G Camp is the highlight of the year for many of the individuals we serve, and they should not have do be turned away simply because of money."

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