Goodwill camps serve 28, garners ‘gold star’

Adrian Sadlak was so excited by Goodwill of South Central Ohio’s Camp Dream and Dream Retreat offerings at Buzzard’s Roost in August, he decided he wanted to attend both.

He was the lone adult camper during Camp Dream the week of Aug. 2 which provided Adrian the chance to be a mentor for the six kids who attended. Adrian helped with activities and kept the mood upbeat, especially when the Revolution Now wrestlers visited as a late addition to camp. We had contacted them after our original visitor slated for Thursday of camp cancelled the day before. We were ecstatic to get four who could come – Bobby Watson, Matt Awesome, Tommy Gorman, and Natasha Copper. They returned again during Dream Retreat the week of Aug. 16 to visit with our 21 adult campers!

Bobby shared a heartfelt message on his Facebook page about the experience. He talked about a cousin he had with challenges who was often cast to the side and told he’d never live a normal, productive life.

“I loved my cousin. I miss the joy he brought to my life. The same type of joy these fans did living a ‘normal life’ despite any challenges they have. A handicap (I hate this word) is not a reason to ignore someone. To me we need to embrace them even more and support whatever DREAM they come up with,” Bobby wrote.

Discussing dreams was a part of both camps along with doing a bevy of crafts, games, and hands-on activities. The Dream Retreat group also checked out Ross County Treasurer David Jeffers’ Polaris Slingshot three-wheeled motorcycle, a Chillicothe Fire Department truck, and the Chillicothe Police Department’s two K9 units.

Camp Dream began last year amidst COVID at the prompting of the Pioneer Center. They wanted a socially distanced option for kids with disabilities whose usual summer plans had to be cancelled. This year, the camp was expanded to invite individuals from Pike and Pickaway counties and we added the second week for adults.

Camp activities were organized by Brittany Lancaster, supervisor of our Pike County Activities and Training Center. She was assisted with running camp by our team of employment specialists – Amy Niemeyer, Elonaray Perkins, Kourtnie Hildreth, Laura Walker, and Lesley Lowery. The Ross County Park District staffers Allen Hawk, Myranda Vance, and Erin Stanley also assisted. This year we provided lunch to campers with help from the Chillicothe Activities and Training Center and the Pioneer Center who provided pizza for one day during each camp.

Adrian told a Chillicothe Gazette reporter it was a lot of fun.

“I’d give it a gold star,” he added.

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