ST. JOSEPH COUNTY — Camp Millhouse has been around since 1940. It started as a camp for children with polio. Now, it caters to people of all ages and all disabilities. Campers participate in arts and crafts, music, swimming and more. They offer six, one week sessions of camp each summer. This summer they have a new program, wheelchair art.
“The company that makes the wheelchair art equipment is called Zot Artz and they actually came out here on a Saturday, we all came and met together, and he taught us how to use the equipment,” says Executive Director Diana Breden.
They have giant rollers that attach to wheelchairs and pogo art sticks. The best part, anyone can participate. You don’t have to be in a wheelchair.
“This is the roller that we use to actually do the wheel chair art. It has the foam patter that we cut out and the paint goes in the top and this is what we use to roll around the canvas,” explains Camp Director Liz Richards.
Richards says every wheelchair is different. You have to find the spot that works the best. For Baylee Stires, it is under her feet. Then, you attach it to her chair and she is good to go.
“There are things that they get to do at camp that they don’t get to do anywhere else. There are things that they get to try here that they have never been able to do before and the wheelchair art is one of them,” adds Richards.
Terry Babcock tested out the pogo stick. Just like the roller, there is a foam pattern. That pattern is then glued to paper then velcroed to the bottom.
“The campers are able to rip and tear the foam pretty easily and can manipulate them into any pattern and shape they want,” says Richards.
The Camp Millhouse staff wants to come out to other facilities or events and host wheelchair art classes. They suggest not booking an event during the summer as they are busy with camp. They are working on prices right now.
Also, Camp Millhouse runs on donations and volunteers. If you want to learn more about donating or volunteering, click here.