When the summer campers leave for the summer, camp hosts a variety of special needs camps, free, for children.

Many of these children come from backgrounds and circumstances that make the camp experience fresh, new, and exciting. It also makes it kind of scary. Sleeping in the outdoors, climbing a rock wall, or even just seeing a few bugs can make the experience an exposure to the unknown. In the end it makes children more confident, more outgoing, and leaves them with memories that they can carry through their toughest times.

One of the very unique experiences at camp is swimming in our lakes. The cedar water is dark, the temperature is inconsistent, and offering fishing doesn’t help matters – things live in the lake.

As swimming was wrapping up yesterday, one of these campers had yet to go in the water. Not only had he never been in a lake before, but he had never been swimming. Ian McCrohan, the Ockanickon Waterfront Director this summer and our overall H2O expert this week, took the extra time between periods to escort this camper through the water, into the deepest part of our lake, out to the inflatables. Not only was Ian able to get him on the trampoline, but he was trusted enough for our camper to take a plunge down the slide, into water over his head, for the first time.

This week, we work with children who might not be able to make it to camp next year. For some, this may be the experience that defines their childhood, even their life. Yesterday, Ian had the chance to define that experience.

Thank you Ian.