Camp Starfish celebrated a very successful summer camp for special needs children on the island of Ambergris Caye with a colorful and cheerful parade through the streets of downtown San Pedro on Thursday, August 06, 2015. Running on its second year, the camp has grown bigger and better, providing more fun and services for its participants.
Special invited guest for the last day of camp, awards ceremony and celebratory parade was First Lady of Belize Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, Global Ambassador for Special Olympics and Special Envoy for Women and Children, Founder of Lifeline Foundation, who has also extended a helping hand for the amazing summer camp that provides a two-week program for children with mental and/or physical disorders.
Organized by Dalia Alamilla, Dianela Hancock and Director of Special Education at Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) Sarah Freudenberg, the camp started with Dalia’s initiative to provide some fun for special needs children on the island who otherwise cannot participate in regular summer camp programs and also provide support to the families of children with disabilities.
Starfish Camp activities commenced on Monday, July 27 through a two-week run with activities that included coloring, singing, dancing, arts and craft, a variety of table games and even outdoor activities. This year the camp support grew much with the assistance of 12 volunteers from University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA (UNCW) who are students majoring in the Special Education vocation. They offered great knowledge by planning various educational activities that stimulated development in special needs children. Assistance also included the participation of ten San Pedro High School students who were trained under SPHS Councilor Alexis Guerrero.
Camp also provided the services of speech and physical therapists that extended their services at no cost for the children. Even educational sessions were provided in the evening to the parents offering counseling and education on their children’s disabilities so they can better understand and tend to their needs.
The best part of Camp Starfish is that it’s free of charge and with no age limit for attendees. Until next year, Camp Starfish thanks the island community for all their support.