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Friday, November 21, 2014

SCAMP to stay open despite cuts



By JERRY WOLFFE
Special to The Oakland Press
Children and young adults with disabilities will continue to enjoy summer camp, known as SCAMP, despite funding cutbacks for the program by state lawmakers.
“We do not intend to ever close down Clarkston SCAMP despite any potential cutbacks in state funding,” said Tina Collins, executive director of North Oakland SCAMP Funding Corp.
“We have about 200 youths and young adults with disabilities who attend our summer sessions,” she said Thursday in response to 2014-15 funding cuts to nonprofits that support the camps.
SCAMP, which starts the last week of June and goes to the end of July, costs $1,200 per student. “However, no child is ever turned away for financial reasons to attend the summer camp,” Collins said.
Sessions are held three times a week for five weeks. Activities include arts and crafts, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, games, field trips, music and picnics, she said. “The curriculum concentrates on developing a positive self-image, improving social interaction and developing and improving motor skills.
“We also have several onsite visits from entertainment groups that are part of our normal activities,” Collins said.
“Our campers come from the general Clarkston area as well as Avondale, Brandon Township, Holly, Huron Valley, Lake Orion, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, Waterford and Grand Blanc in southern Genesee County, she said.
SCAMP, a nonprofit started in 1976, has the mission to provide funding for a summer camp program offering fun and social and recreational opportunities for youth adults and children who are disabled.
SCAMP works in conjunction with the Clarkston School District which “lets us use one of its elementary schools for our activities.”
Collins also said we have a lot of support in the community from businesses, residents, chambers of commerce, the Knights of Columbus and other entities in the region.
Jerry Wolffe is the writer-in-residence, advocate-at-large at the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at (586) 263-8950.