Camp Dream Update
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA- For several years conversations have occurred between GVRA and leaders at Camp Dream regarding the need for Camp Dream to become accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). In August of 2017, they were formally advised that accreditation from the ACA would be required in order for Camp Dream to occur at GVRA’s Roosevelt Warm Springs (RWS) campus in 2018.
Despite many attempts to work with Camp Dream to ensure that accreditation was being secured, GVRA did not receive the requested documents demonstrating Camp Dream’s progress towards accreditation by the deadline of April 30th, 2018.
On June 2nd, 2018, nearly a month after GVRA notified Camp Dream that their failure to secure ACA accreditation resulted in their inability to use RWS facilities, GVRA began receiving calls and emails from concerned parents. When it became obvious that Camp Dream officials had just notified impacted families of the camp’s cancellation, GVRA took action. Leadership met on Sunday, June 3rd to begin exploring solutions for the displaced campers.
GVRA contacted several organizations who specialize in serving individuals with disabilities to find suitable alternatives for these families. Through these efforts, GVRA’s leaders found an ADA accessible, ACA-accredited camp willing to work with Camp Dream to accommodate 128 Georgians with disabilities. An offer was crafted that would allow 128 campers of all ages and disabilities to enjoy camp at no cost to their families. This arrangement also allows Camp Dream’s staff and volunteers to participate in all sessions and for the camp to operate under Camp Dream’s name. These solutions have been, and continue to be, rejected by Camp Dream.
Camp Dream’s many failures throughout this process prevented them from operating at RWS this year. GVRA’s principle concern has always been, and continues to be, the safety and well-being of this vulnerable camp population. We look forward to meeting with Camp Dream in the near future to discuss the 2019 camp season. GVRA will continue to be a resource to find alternative solutions. For the parents still trying to find a safe, ACA-accredited, ADA accessible camp to serve their children, please visit https://www.acacamps.org for alternative camp options.
GVRA is the state’s Vocational Rehabilitation organization. It was established through legislative action in 2012 with the goal of helping every Georgian with a disability who wants a career to attain success. The organization includes five programs: Vocational Rehabilitation, Roosevelt Warm Springs and Cave Spring Center, Georgia Industries for the Blind, the Business Enterprise Program and Disability Adjudication Services.
Patrice Meadows, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, Marketing Manager, email@example.com, 404.313.7972