RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Ask kids who have been there and they will tell you that the MDA Summer Camp is the best week of the year! Today 8News had a chance to visit the campground in Wakefield to see the fun in action.
It has all the makings of the perfect experience: arts and crafts, activities outside and time with friends. The campers who are ages 6 to 17 all have neuro-muscular diseases.
"You feel normal here, you don't feel different like you do at school or whatever," says camper Thomas Kidd of Brunswick County. "Here people know what it's like you don't have to explain what's going on to them."
Camper Tori Hoffert adds, "I get to learn more about what other people have also. It's not all about you, which I like. It's a sense of normalcy."
Hoffert says it's a place where they fit in. All the activities are adapted to their individual needs. Sponsors raise money throughout the year and then see their efforts come to life when they volunteer. The camp is free for the children.
"It's always nice to see the interaction of the employees with the kids and how they do the camp here and what it means to the campers," says Chip Vance, store manager of the Lowe's in Chester. His store sold Shamrocks to help cover costs of the camp. "It's exciting for us to be here and see all that."
Woody Hogg, whose ERA Real Estate office has been a sponsor for about 37 years, chimes in. "It's hard to really measure the payoff because these kids are amazing kids. They really enjoy this camp, and this is a great time of year for them."
This year 44 campers are spending the week at the Airfield 4H Conference Center.
"I encourage everyone to come out and be a part, come out for the day or come out all week. It will truly change your life," says Counselor Brandon Whitlow.
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