My favorite part of Summer Camp at Camp Barnes is ...

posted Sun, Aug 10, 2014 by Jon Buzby

Perfect summer weather welcomes campers and counselors

FRANKFORD -- More than 50 Special Olympics Delaware athletes representing all five Area programs attended the first summer session of the 14th annual Special Olympics Delaware Summer Camp at Camp Barnes on August 9-11.

Campers were joined by more than 30 Project UNIFY volunteers representing a variety of high schools and several year-round SODE volunteers at the three-day, two-night camp. In addition, 34 high school student-athletes attending the annual Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Student Leadership Conference in nearby Lewes joined the Unified Field Day on Saturday.

“It’s just amazing because it shows me that even though they have disabilities they still can do what we do,” Christiana High School rising senior Nicole DeAngelis said. “Us being here pushes them to do even better. It’s just been a great experience.”

As a female competing in the male-dominated sport of wrestling, DeAngelis could easily relate to the harm of stereotypes.

“I’ve heard stereotypes from my own teammates, opponents, different coaches, and refs, and it’s really hard,” DeAngelis shared. “But seeing these [Special Olympics] athletes, it’s easier for me to connect with them and see where they are coming from. I know that just like me, they can do whatever they put their mind to.”

Sunday's activities included kayaking, archery, popular backyard games, crafts, swimming, and a pontoon boat ride compliments of North Bay Marina. And of course, the traditional camp dance.

"I know the dance is a favorite activity for many," longtime cabin leader Joe Tacconelli said. "I know it's my favorite part of camp."

Here's what the campers and counselors had to say when asked about their favorite part of camp:

Meeting the motorcylce guys and getting to see old Special Olympics friends again. -- Jonathan Touchette, Wilmington Wizards

I like everything about it. -- Patricia Pecora, Kent Wild Kats

Getting to see the athletes have fun and do all the different activities. The boat ride is really fun, too. -- Jessica Platt, Project UNIFY volunteer

Hanging out with friends and I can't wait for the dance tonight. -- Laura Scott, MOT Tigers

Doing the walking and all the other sports. -- Brynn MacBride, Newark Dragons

Swimming. -- Jessica Bird, Sussex Riptide

Helping everyone out. -- Jake Cain, Project UNIFY volunteer

The food and the activities. -- Elerece Thomas, Kent Wild Kats

Being with friends and having a good time. -- Erin Bailey, Wilmington Wizards

The morning walk. -- Marissa Hammond, Newark Dragons

Seeing all the campers. -- Karen Cimaglia, Project UNIFY volunteer

I'm happy when I am here. -- David Dube, Sussex Riptide

The people because everybody is so friendly and everyone just wants to help our athletes have a good time. -- Alison Kahn, Project UNIFY volunteer

Everything. I like the food here and seeing friends and counselors. Just having fun. -- Tyler Kennedy, Wilmington Wizards

It was a life-changing experience. -- Jackie Corenjo, Glasgow High School/DIAA Student Leadership Conference

Seeing all the campers. -- Hannah Griffiths, Project UNIFY volunteer

Kayaking. -- Allie Woodard, Project UNIFY volunteer

Basketball. -- Jeremy Eglit, Sussex Riptide

The dance. -- Carley Schiavoni, Project UNIFY volunteer

Swimming. -- Jordan Little, Kent Wild Kats

Hanging out with the athletes and getting to know them and bonding and getting to know their stories. -- Corrin Rogers, Project UNIFY volunteer

Spending the time with the athletes. We only get to see them a couple times a year so having them around all the time for a weekend is really cool. -- Logan Worsh, Project UNIFY volunteer

Salads and doing the Hammer Walking for three loops. -- Michael Bowe, Sussex Riptide

Watching the campers enjoy being around each other. -- Dave Manwiller, Cabin Leader/Kent Area Director

NOTE: Additional photos will be posted soon, along with the camp video. ... The second session of Summer Camp at Camp Barnes is August 17-19.