AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Parents go to great lengths to make sure their children have the tools they need to grow.
For one mother, the desire to help her child resulted in the development of a camp that is benefiting dozens of children.
Over the past five years, Camp Ivey has planted roots that have flourished into a special place for special needs children to do special things.
“They spend their days and nights doing what kids do at camp. They’ll swim, they’ll fish, they’ll kayak, they’ll do archery, we play fun games, we do arts and crafts, we have pottery come out, we go sailing with the Augusta Sailing Club on the last day,” explains camp founder Sterling Ivey.
It all started with Sterling Ivey’s idea to provide a place for her daughter to thrive like any other child.
“Catherine really doesn’t have a specific big name diagnosis which also makes it hard to find a camp for her.”
So, like any mom on a mission she set out to make her child’s dream of going to camp a reality.
She says, “I met with a group of occupational therapists that were working with Catherine and friends of mine. We put together an idea and it became a mission.”
Soon her idea took on a life of its own while touching the lives of many others.
It became a Family Y camp and garnered great interest.
“The first year we started with 20. We had a one week day camp with one overnight. This past summer we had 31 children with an all-week overnight camp. Next summer we’re looking to be, year number five, we’re going to be a one week overnight camp but we are going to offer the day camp option again,” smiles Ivey.
Turns out the camp is helping more than the children.
“In 2007 diagnosed with breast cancer and found out it had metastasized in 2013. I think that may have lit a fire in me, a sense of urgency, that I wanted to see this happen,” she reflects.
As Camp Ivey continues digging deeper roots in the community its founder’s determination to help more children grows stronger.
“It fills my heart to be doing what I’m doing and that I can see the joy in these children’s eyes and the smile and laughter.”
Camp Ivey is growing and looking for volunteers to help it continue to flourish.
The camp also has a “Youth Board” which helps teens gain leadership experience and increase their passion for volunteerism.
For more information on Camp Ivey go to www.thefamilyy.org