Camping & Campgrounds

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Pursuing Excellence: How Teenage Campers Gain Independence Through Service and Travel

by Carol A. Stone, MS, CTRS

When one thinks of their "teenage years" perhaps ideas such as high school, team athletics, dances and friends come to mind. Perhaps other ideas come to mind as well, like struggling to fit in, struggling to gain independence and feeling "awkward."

Gearing Up for Camp: A Primer for Parents of Children with Disabilities

by Margarita Solis, MSSA

There are hundreds of residential programs within the United States that provide opportunities for children of all ability levels to participate in a scope of outdoor and creative recreational, camp, and adventure activities. Choosing the best camp for your child to attend should be a serious endeavor and choosing a camp for a child with a disability should not be any different if the perspective is choosing the camp that will offer the greatest opportunities and will keep your child safe. This is not always an easy task, however there are many resources to support you this process.

The following illustrations are a culmination of real experiences and real examples. It illustrates the parent perspective, the process and experiences of a parent sending a child to camp.

Accessible Wilderness Camping Made Possible – Scout’s Honor!

by Michelle Cook

When the location of travel is located "off the beaten path" access becomes challenging for people with disabilities. This is the task that Andrew Trontis chose to undertake: to build a barrier-free wilderness campsite developed in the rugged backwoods area of the Teertertown Nature Preserve, a Hunterdon County Park, in Lebanon Township, NJ.

Barre Falls Dam Picnic Area: An Outdoor Developed Area "Making the Grade" in Hubbarston, MA

Spring time brings a flurry of activity to our parks and recreation areas. As people return to the parks en masse, recreation providers hustle to make improvements to their sites. As park staff undertake spring projects, consider the Barre Falls Dam example and take a proactive approach towards providing accessibility. "We had picnic tables with no seats. People with disabilities would come with their families and the family members would have no where to sit." Ralph Gendron, Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, refers to the picnic site recently completed at Barre Falls Dam in Hubbardston, Massachusetts.

Renovations "Make the Grade" at Lake Sylvia State Park

 
A paved path winding along the edge of the lake.

Located north of Montesano, Washington, Lake Sylvia State Park is a quiet, peaceful retreat surrounded by forest. The Park began as an old logging camp in a wooded area halfway between Olympia and the Pacific shore. The lake was formed by damming up Sylvia Creek for the purpose of log ponding and power production.

In 1936, the town of Montesano donated the land to the State parks Commission for conservation. Additional lands were added to the park by a trade in 1985.

Campground Accessibility: Issues and Recommendations

Outdoor environments offer unique psychological, physiological and spiritual benefits to users. According to the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (Teasley, et al., 1998), 78 percent of people polled in the United States actively pursue outdoor activities, with camping being identified as one of the most popular.