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Creative Works Farm

www.camplight.org

Mission: Creative Works Farm mission is to show kids with special needs and circumstances that life is only limited by their imagination, and to give them new tools and skills, along with love and support, to inspire them to become anything they can dream.

Community Need: Children, especially those with special needs and at risk youth, need structure and routine to help them thrive.  When school is out for the summer, kids still need an environment that keeps them to stay active, learn, and grow.  Summer camp is a great environment to help children improve social skills, stay active and moving, and have fun!

There are a limited number of places like Camp LIGHT.  Camp LIGHT is offered to families at no cost so that children with medical, physical, behavioral, and other special needs, as well as at risk youth, have the opportunity to participate in the program, despite their financial situation.  Their programs will help families release the emotional, physical, and financial burdens caused by serious childhood illnesses, and will provide a peer network that reaches far beyond the LIGHT of a summer campfire. Around 70% of their camper families have a household income below the state average, and around 25% are near or below the poverty level.  They rely on funding to assist with summer camp so that the families can focus on great programs for their children without worrying about how to pay for it.

Primary Activities: Creative Works Farm operates Camp LIGHT, a summer camp for children with special needs and at risk youth.  Camp LIGHT’s summer camp program gives children ages 6-17 with medical, physical, cognitive, and social differences a chance to enjoy a summer camp that is adapted to meet their unique needs.

During 2017, new activities were added that elevated their programs and provided a positive impact on the campers.  These activities included an archery range, a barn and riding ring for horse riding, animal management programs, and fishing, among others.  It allowed their campers to gain a higher level of confidence, learn new skills, and provided different avenues for building peer relationships. These activities are carried out by the recruitment of quality volunteer counselors, aides, and nurses that deliver a fun and safe environment for the campers.

Constituents Served: Camp LIGHT serves children ages 6-17 with a medical, physical, behavioral and other special diagnoses, as well as those classified as at risk youth.  As a day camp, campers typically come from within a 40 mile radius of Waynesboro. Those served came from the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg and Charlottesville, as well as from Augusta, Nelson, Albemarle, Rockingham, Rockbridge, and surrounding counties.   In the 2017 season, CAMP Light served around 150 children, with 40 different diagnoses.  The age range of those served were:  6-9 (32%); 10-12 (36%); and 13-17 (32%).

Amount Requested: $6,000

Operating Budget: $251,000

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