Just a weekend of fun and being able to be them.
That is how the second annual Austism Camp was described by one parent whose child with autism was attending the camp this past weekend described the camp.
The Autism Project of Southern Ohio conducted the camp from Friday evening through Sunday at Camp Oyo, with about 50- 70 children expected to show up, according to president of the group Mike Bell. He said the kids will have the opportunity play ball, canoe, horseback riding and fishing, all in all just having fun.
William Campbell, had his seven year old austistic son and his 10-year old daughter at the event. “This is the most phenomenal thing,” Campbell said. He noted there is no judging, no bullying, just kids being kids for the weekend. “They can be themselves and not worry about anything for a weekend.”
The amazing thing about the weekend, according to Campbell, is the parents are charged nothing for the weekend. “It’s all all free,” Campbell said. “The Austism Project of Southern Ohio does such an awesome job. They’re always thinking of new things to do with our kids.”
The staff at Camp Oyo takes to heart the children with disabilities. For them it is an opportunity to spend a weekend with children who normally would not be at the boy scout camp. Jeff Davis has been involved with the Boy Scout Camp since 1974. He said he loves working with kids and really enjoyed the weekend last year and was looking forward to this year. The kids know him only as “Davis” who became an Eagle Scout in 1976. “The Boy Scout motto is to help others,” he said. “I just enjoy coming here and doing my part helping and working with these kids.”
The resident ranger at the camp is Matt Taylor. He lives at the camp and has been there for 12 years. ” I want the camp to be a community camp,” Taylor said of Camp Oyo. “I want it to be more than a scout camp. This is where I live, my job, my house,” Taylor said with a smile.
“There’s a ton of things…rain or shine,” Campbell said Friday evening. “I don’t think we should be allowed to have this much fun.”