Step it Up Muskegon is a partnership between The Muskegon Channel, Tabono Law and Scherdel Sales and Technology. We began this program in the pandemic when our area non profits were struggling to find the needed funding to try and help in a couple of ways. Some financial assistance is a part, but more over, the idea is to bring awareness to the amazing amount of good that happens here in our area and those who make it happen. To date, $25,000 has been provided to our local charitable organizations, and in introducing Camp Sunshine this month, we make it $26K.
Camp Sunshine has been in operation since 1983. From their website, "Camp Sunshine has offered individuals with cognitive/developmental disabilities summer camp experiences in a safe, caring, and inclusive environment. We offer multi-day overnight camp sessions with activities designed to meet participants’ recreational, emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational needs. Uniquely, each camper is paired one-to-one with a volunteer counselor for their entire four days at camp. Camp Sunshine creates spaces for campers to feel included, learn from others, and grow in friendship. Within our programs, volunteers receive as much as they give and learn as much as they teach. Most of all, we have fun!"
Not restricting their campers to any age, that's part of the mission of inclusion. Some of what people who have disabilities deal with is the isolation of their condition. To be part of a program that takes away what others "see" and lets people just be themselves is a big part of the experience. "The messages we share speak of love, inclusion, compassion, and care for ourselves and all creation." That in and of itself is a feeling that when taken away after a camp session leaves an impression on not only the campers, but those who share the experience and then come back to "reality" with a different scope on life and what it means to be a human.
Kathy Rohlman is the Executive Director of Camp Sunshine and joins Cynthia Langlois From Scherdel and I today for the presentation of the $1000. Shon Cook from Tabono Law was out of town when we taped. Take a listen and learn a little more about the program and how it makes a world of difference in the lives of those who participate.
If you'd like to learn more about registration for the camp or help out in some way, you can click on the image below to visit their site. Our thanks to Kathy for spending a few minutes with us today as well as Scherdel and Tabono Law for their support of another amazing organization that makes life so much better fort those they serve.