Since 1967, Kostopulos Dream Foundation (Camp K) has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for people of all abilities through education, recreation, and growth opportunities.
Their services are available to people of all abilities, place of residence, and levels of income. Their year-round programs provide opportunities for participants to access and enjoy their community, the arts, sports, education, and adaptive recreation in the great outdoors. They also encourage participants to stretch their imagination, learn practical life skills, maximize their potential for independence, and build healthy bodies, minds, and spirits. The benefits from their programs create a ripple effect, impacting not only their lives, but the lives of their families, friends, and ultimately our entire community.
Mircea tells ABC4 Utah about programs that they offer and what they consist of:
1. Summer Camp — May-August: They offer 3 types of summer camp experiences: Residential Camp, Day Camp, and Travel Trip Camps. Camp runs from Monday morning to Friday afternoon, with Residential and Travel Trip campers spending 4 overnights at camp. The Residential and Day camps take place on the 25-acre campus in Emigration Canyon. Trip campers journey to local destinations, or nearby sites of National, historic, or scenic interest, including destinations such as Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Zions National Park, Moab, and Bear Lake.
2. Partner Day Camp – May-August: Under Mircea’s leadership, starting in 2015 CampK has partnered with many great organizations to provide a 2-in-1 camping experience for kids in elementary school, who do not have special needs. Kids who attend these Partner Camps share the facilities with campers who have cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Through this experience, they learn that people with disabilities are just like them – they just have different challenges and abilities!
3. Community Based Programs / After-School Programs — September-April: Activities are offered 5-6 times per week, and consist of enrichment and educational programs, including arts and drama, music, culinary arts, bowling leagues, horseback riding, snow adventures, holiday parties, themed mini-camps, dances, and many other activities with an emphasis on learning new skills through recreational therapy.
4. Equestrian program: CampK’s equestrian park and indoor arena allow equine therapy programs to run year-round. Equine therapy helps build confidence, communication, trust, social skills, impulse control, and boundaries, as well as increasing physical strength and balance. Riding lessons are available to people of all abilities.
5. Vocational Rehabilitation: In 2016, Mircea created a partnership with the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation to implement new Vocational Training programs to help High School students with disabilities gain the skills and attitudes necessary to enter the workforce. Training includes hands-on experience to mock a real work environment.
6. Work Experience – May-August: Implemented in 2016, the Work Experience program allows students to use the skills and knowledge gained in the Vocational Rehab program, gain real work experience, and earn a paycheck. Students work at CampK during Summer camp, in the following job roles: Kitchen Support, Grounds & Maintenance, Clerical Work, Equestrian Care, and Junior Counselors.
7. Team Leadership Training: Because Mircea is committed to diversity, inclusion, and integration, CampK now offers businesses and organizations an opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses of groups, break down barriers between individuals, improve creativity and problem solving, and improve communication.
- Camp K will provide their big hit Day Camps (Monday-Friday) this Summer 2021, along with bringing a brand-new program to life during Summer Camp 2021 – Summer Saturday Mini Day Camps – hosted on Saturdays! Day Camps will be available to children, teens, and adults starting at age 7. As they will serve different ages and abilities, participants will be divided into smaller, age-appropriate groups. This will be based on registration totals. In addition, Camp K is opening its Day Camps to everyone, regardless of having a disability or not. If there are siblings without a disability who want to attend, they are welcome to register. If any of your friends or neighbors would like to register their children to attend our Day Camp Programs, we would love to enroll them. Everyone is welcome to join!
- Community-Based Programs – Community-Based Activities are hosted Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at Camp K! On Tuesdays and Fridays, drop-off for participants at Camp K is at 4:00 pm and pick-up from Camp K at 8:00 pm. On Saturdays, Mini Day Camp drop-off at Camp K is at 9:00 am and pick-up at Camp K at 5:00 pm. In order to keep everyone safe, unfortunately, they are not able to provide transportation at this time. During all Tuesday and Friday activities, dinner will be provided for participants. During all Saturday Mini Day Camps, lunch will be provided for participants. They will cater these meals from Ruth’s Diner.
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