MILFORD — This past weekend was a beautiful one for just about any outdoor activity. Many people could be found in their yards, on vacation or out on the lake. And while most lakes were packed with boaters, skiers, tubers, wake boarders and more, one local lake was shut down to its residents, but that does not mean that something great wasn’t happening there as well.
Camelot Lake played host to Camp WACK, a disabled adult and youth ski camp. Camp WACK (Water Adventure Camp for Kids) runs a three day camp in Lafayette and a one day camp here in Kosciusko and just celebrated its 10th year of making a positive impact in the world. This was Camp WACK’s second year at Camelot and the turnout was fantastic even with the warm weather.
“We had a great turnout,” began Nikki Shaffer, one of the camp’s coordinators. “Everyone came that was signed up, we all tolerated the heat very well and had a great time out on the water.”
21 kids came out in total for the event. Tents and lawn chairs lined the southwest shore of Camelot’s Lake Rachael as kids took their turns out on the water. Specially equipped skis and outriggers help to provide the skiers with a safe and fun experience. Boats would usually pull skiers around the ski course two to three times then drop them back off near the dock where a group of swimmers would bring them back to shore.
Camp WACK had two boats going to keep the pace moving and give skiers as many opportunities as possible. Conservation officers from Indiana District 1 also came out and would follow the boats on jet skis with one “jumper” ready to dive in if there were to be any issues.
Skiers at Saturday’s camp had different diagnoses ranging from autism, Down’s Syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Phalen McDermid Syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome and cerebral palsy. While all have a different battle to fight everyday, the one thing that everyone in attendance shared on Saturday was a feeling of great joy and happiness. While Camp WACK is making big waves, there is no doubt that it’s also making a big difference.
“It’s the most amazing experience to see these kids smile when they do something that they wouldn’t normally be able to do,” Shaffer offered. “To give them that opportunity to hang with other kids that are like them and to be able to do something that they see their friends at school doing, it builds a good sense of community for them and they build friendships along the way.
“But, really, it’s that big smile you get from them that makes this all so worth it every year.”
Camp WACK is backed by Modified Athletics For Kids, a nonprofit group out of West Lafayette. Those interested in getting involved with Camp WACK or making a donation to it cause are encouraged to visit www.campwack.org. The website also has more information about the camp as does the group’s Facebook page.