Disabled children go for a dip during summer camp - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Disabled children go for a dip during summer camp

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Camp counselors work with each child on an individual basis. Camp counselors work with each child on an individual basis.
Mickey Baron Mickey Baron
Austin McCarthy and Sophie Austin McCarthy and Sophie
Robin Miller Robin Miller

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It's hard to imagine going all summer without taking a dip in a pool, especially during a week like this, so that's exactly what the campers at the Home of the Innocents camp did.

"The children look forward to it every summer," said Physical Therapist Mickey Baron.

This is the 10th year the Home of the Innocents has hosted this camp for children with physical and mental disabilities from all over Kentuckiana participate. While their disabilities may be apparent despite limitations, what's more noticeable are the smiles and laughter of kids just having fun.  

"If they put their head to the water they can hear music," said Baron. "The lights change so it is a very stimulating environment."

Each day brings on new activities.

"They rode horses, they're swimming, they are going to be in a bouncie on Friday, whatever a regular child does, that's what we want them to do and they love it," said Baron. "This is a very important thing for the parents, also because they have nowhere for their children to go in the summer."

Since the children who attend the camp are medically fragile children camp counselors work with each child on an individual basis.

"I am volunteering with a girl named Sophie," said Austin McCarthy, high school camp counselor. "She lights up and she starts wiggling around when she is really happy and it's absolutely adorable."

For McCarthy, not only is she helping Sophie, but Sophie's is in turn helping her.

"It will make it easier for me in the real world when I see people like Sophie to not be judgmental because I know how much that hurts her because she has the same mental capability of everyone else," said McCarthy. "She just can't necessarily portray it."

While the need for places like Home of the Innocents continues to grow this year has provided some fundraising challenges. The staff remains hopeful the support will come in, so programs like this summer camp live on.

"There's more kids than there is money, so that's where we really need to close the gap from donor support to really make all those numbers work and really make that a rich experience for our children so they can lead fulfilling lives," said Home of the Innocents Vice President of Resource Development Robin Miller.

For more information on how you can help the Home of the Innocents and programs like the summer camp, click here. 

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