As temperatures climbed toward 100 degrees Thursday, the kids at Camp Red Cedar on Hursh Road took refuge in a lake on the back of the property.
Some swam, others splashed one another, and some simply sat still in the water – savoring the escape from the heat.
Swimming in lakes has long been part of the American camp experience. But the activity takes on a unique dimension at Camp Red Cedar, where children with and without disabilities have the chance to enjoy the cool water together.
Located on 57 acres northeast of Fort Wayne, Camp Red Cedar offers programs to about 400 adults and children each summer. Although campers with and without disabilities are placed in different camps, they often come together for swimming, boating and arts and crafts.
“We’re very unique in that we are one of the few camps out there that meshes programs for kids with and without disabilities,” said Courtney Hartman, communications manager for AWS, which runs the camp. “For kids with disabilities, it’s just about having fun. They are playing and doing what all the other kids are doing.”
Camp Red Cedar has 23 counselors who go through two weeks of training before camp starts. In some cases, counselors are paired with one camper throughout the session. The camps are a week long, and can range from $170 to $275 a week. Each Thursday, campers have the option of having an overnight.
Aside from its regular offerings, Camp Red Cedar offers special camps for children with diabetes and Down syndrome. It also offers therapeutic and regular horseback riding lessons.
Kate Grubbs, 8, took a break from swimming Thursday to explain her thoughts on the camp. Although she doesn’t have special needs herself, she said she had made friends with many children who do.
“I like that they make fun for students with special needs because every wants to fun even if they look different or talk different,” she said.
•The Cornerstone Youth Center will offer a program to local teens called The Force to give youths in grades seven through 12 soft skills training for the workforce. The program will run from today through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cornerstone Youth Center at 19819 Monroeville Road. Interested youths can contact Cornerstone at 623-3972 or email@example.com.
•The McMillen Center for Health Education will host a half-day conference, Finding Food in Farm Country, on July 17. The conference will feature keynote speaker Ken Meter, from the Crossroads Resource Center in Minnesota. Meter will speak about his statewide study, “Hoosier Farmer? Emergent Food Systems in Indiana,” which was conducted for the Indiana Department of Health. Tickets, full details and a condensed version of the Hoosier Farm report are available at www.mcmillencenter.org/lectureseries, or by calling 456-4511.
•Jon-Paul Capito, alumnus of Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast, was named champion of the 2012 New Venture Competition
•Homestead High School student Dashaen Jordan has been appointed to the Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council
•Breanne Walls from Wawasee High School and Yaritza Barrientos from West Noble High School were on the Second Place Entrepreneurship Team in the SkillsUSA national championship competition in entrepreneurship and esthetics.
•Teachers Jill Stetzel, Cathy Rowe, Jonathan Patterson and Deb Daugherty won the 2012 Best Project Contest held by the Talent Initiative, in partnership with the Buck Institute for Education.
•The University of Saint Francis will host the 35th annual Ventures in Creativity exhibition Saturday through Aug. 17 in the Weatherhead Gallery in the School of Creative Arts.
•Grace College’s Weber School at Fort Wayne invites families to attend an open house from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at 1027 W. Rudisill Blvd. To RSVP and for more information, call 469-4070 or email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
•As part of the free college preparation program provided for adult students through the College of Professional Studies, a computer basics course will be offered four times at Blue Jacket Inc., 2826 S. Calhoun St. The course covers such topics as how to access and navigate the Internet, how to use email, and an introduction to basic applications such as word processing and spreadsheets. The two-session course will meet Thursday and Friday from noon to 1:45 p.m., and July 26-27. To register, call 888-832-4742. For more information on the free college prep program, visit www.IndianaTech.edu/CPS.