Camp Starfish 2016 ends in style
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
After two weeks of non-stop fun and learning, the third annual Camp Starfish came to a close with a grand celebration. Catering to children living with disabilities, the camp ended on Friday, July 29th with a parade and party organized to make each camper feel extra special.
A colorful decorated float led the parade shortly after 10AM across the town core. Characters such as Peppa Pig and Caillou joined camp buddies, and organizers to bring cheer to the children. With festive music, campers and volunteers followed behind as multiple golf-carts displayed posters showcasing the theme, “We are more alike than different”. Camp Starfish made sure its presence was known along Barrier Reef and Pescador Drive.
Afterwards, all participants, family members and invited guests converged at the Lions Den for a party. Everyone was encouraged to participate in fun games; from karaoke to freeze dance, and even musical chairs, the campers were more than enthusiastic to join in on the fun. A camp buddy serenaded the audience with an acapella performance of “Diamonds” by Rihanna. To top off the fun, children had a blast popping the piñata, eating cake, and receiving goody bags.
During lunch, Founder of Camp Starfish Dalia Alamilla, and Director of Special Education at Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Sarah Freudenberg, made their way onstage to award certificates to each camper and their buddies. Several certificates of appreciation were presented to student volunteers from the San Pedro High School, and Special Educators from the United States.
According to Freudenberg, this year saw an increase in registered children. Last year, Camp Starfish had a total of 21 kids, and this year saw 38. “The camp went really well, and was busy. We made a lot of changes, and everything worked out better. I look forward to next year’s camp,” said Freudenberg.
Freudenberg also announced handy services that will be offered by the volunteer group from Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, USA. Since Arcadia University will be focusing on children with special needs, Freudenberg gave out slips with recommendations to the parents/guardians of the special needs child. All specific seminars are free to the public to attend:
Adult Literacy (Tuesday, August 9th at Polyclinic 6:30PM to 8PM)
Education for the special needs parent (Friday, August 12th at Polyclinic 9:30AM to 11:30AM)
Does my child have special needs or a learning disability? What to look for. Assessments with educators and therapists. (Friday, August 12th at 1PM, and Monday, August 15th at 9AM Polyclininc)
Empowering Adolescent Girls (Monday, August 15th at the SPTC Conference Room 6:30PM to 8PM)
Nutrition (Monday, August 15th and 17th at Lions Den 6:30PM to 8PM)
Empowering Adolescent Boys (Tuesday, August 16th at the SPTC Conference Room 6:30PM to 8PM)
Camp Starfish would not be a success without the contribution of the following entities: all of the parents, Lions Den for donating the venue for the camp, Projects Abroad for volunteering, San Pedro High School, Francisco Mendez, the SandBar for hosting the camp’s beach party, The San Pedro Sun, iTravelBelize, The San Pedro Town Council, Blackadore Caye Development Group for donating the party, and the servers who distributed food.
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