BlazeSports kicked off the summer with a great BlazeCamp at Camp Dream, Roosevelt Warm Springs, from June 5th – 9th. Campers from throughout the southeast participated in a week of sports and recreation programs held in the outstanding facilities of Camp Dream and the Frank C. Ruzycki Center for Therapeutic Recreation. BlazeSports staff expanded on a staff format used in previous BlazeCamps and invited former Blaze campers to be camp counselors for the week. Alumni Curran Brown, Bryan Powell, Abbie Argo and Brent O’Grady joined the staff as counselors. In addition, current and former Blazers, Christina Young, James Adams, Tommie Gray, Martinez Johnson and Chandler White were volunteers for the week and joined four students from Kennesaw State University (Madison Levy, Michellee Phillips, Lauran Hogge and Chris Bryant), Camp Nurse Sharon O’Grady and Blaze staff in implementing the variety of activities.
Campers were divided into four teams for a Paralympic style competition that awarded points for everything from the team with the best camp sign to which team caught fish. Teams Yellow, Green, Blue and Red spent four days earning points in activities including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, tennis, boccia, bowling, archery, track and field, kayaking, fishing and swimming.
In a contest that came down to the final day and perhaps the last caught fish, the yellow team came out victorious. Chance Boyd, Jeff Kitchins, and John Michael Cristofoli were the winning campers, accompanied by counselors Michellee Phillips, Christina Young and Martinez Johnson. Congratulations Team Yellow!
During the week the campers also had the unique opportunity to try a completely new sport. On Wednesday evening the lacrosse team from Holy Innocents High School in Atlanta visited camp laden with lacrosse sticks, balls and protective gear. This team of young people has been pioneering a wheelchair lacrosse program in Georgia and the BlazeCamp participants were the first to try it out. The new sport was a hit with the campers and many were keen to find out where they could enjoy it again.
Camp would not be camp without the extras: camp fires, songs, s’mores, pick-up basketball games, arts and crafts, and challenge games. Most of the campers’ free time was filled with something to do. The weather cooperated and most days were in the low 80’s as compared to past summers with temperatures in the high 90’s. All in all, camp was a great success and BlazeSports would like to thank the staff, volunteers, the Roosevelt Warm Springs staff and especially the campers for great summer camp. Hope to see you all next year!
Special thanks to our sponsors Resurgens Orthopaedics and the Kyle Pease Foundation that made BlazeCamp possible and to Nisha Kittles for creating our striking BlazeCampT-Shirt logo.
The best way to share our experience is to share the images captured by Chelsea Catlin…enjoy!