Camp Buddy returns in-person to Chatham County

After going virtual last year due to COVID they brought their camp back in-person
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Camp Buddy, a summer camp for children with down syndrome, made it’s return to Chatham County this week.

“Camp Buddy was virtual last year, and it was only 30 minutes a day,” says Camp Buddy lead teacher Seale Navare.

So, you can imagine how excited campers and staff were to be back in person.

“Getting to do it was a challenge, but we didn’t want to not do it,” said Navare.

Fitting a typical two-week camp, into just four days, “we get a lot packed into a little bit of time,” Navare says.

While it may look like no work and all play, well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“We do occupational things, we do speech therapy stuff with the kids, we do physical therapy and then we kind of focus on social skills,” says Navare.

Many of the things these campers missed out on last school year.

“That’s something that I think especially with COVID recently has been taken away from children. As far as academics, their therapy goes. Their whole world has been flipped upside-down,” says Camp Buddy speech pathologist Sarabeth Mixon.

Which is why Camp Buddy is so important.

Helping flip things right side up before these campers not only head back to school but eventually into the real world.

“We want them to be as independent as they can,” Navare says.

Giving them a path to independence, but also the comfort of knowing a buddy is never too far away.

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