Outdoors Camp Takes Worries From Special Needs Children
Splash, swim, tube, and fish. Some special needs children have the chance to experience it all this weekend in Pittsville.
For the ninth year, The United Special Sportsman Alliance is giving children and their families a four-day camping trip...
Organizers say the trip gives them some much needed time away from the hospital.
"This is just a weekend where they can put all their worries and cares behind them, leave the doctors behind, and they can just come in and enjoy themselves," said John Haydock, from the USSA. "Everyone here has a story, everyone here has an issue, we're all in the same boat."
Trip leaders say a weekend like this - without judgment or fear - helps boost confidence and raises self esteem.
"We know it's okay, nobody will make fun of you," said Hunter Ridenour, a fishing and hunting guide for the camp. "Being around these people being around this facility, it's a big happiness, there's nothing like it."
This is Ridenour's sixth time at camp. He travels all the way from Tennessee. He suffers from asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.
"What I like to do is take these kids fishing and hunting, like a mentor," Ridenour said. "Being in the great outdoors, it actually heals you, mentally and physically."
There are more than 100 families at the camp this year and more than 200 volunteers.
This is Brittany Zebraski's fourth year.
"It fully a huge experience to be here, the people are asking you if it gives you good confidence about yourself, sure does for me, that's for sure," Zebraski said.
At five-years-old, she was diagnosed with cancer. After years of chemotherapy and 48 surgeries, Zebraski is in remission.