Registration begins for Camp ClapHans
Summer sessions start in June at camp for kids with special needs
Families can register now for Camp ClapHans, a residential summer camp in Norman for children with disabilities.
The camp is for kids ages 8 to 18 and is an outreach program of the J.D. McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities. The center is a pediatric rehab hospital that specializes in the care and treatment of children with developmental disabilities.
The deadline to register for the camp is April 23. The cost is $325, and scholarships are available to families who qualify. Five camp sessions are offered this summer, and the sessions are from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon.
The camp is located on the center's campus at 2002 E. Robinson St. in Norman and features two cabins and an activities building that are located next to an 11-acre lake.
Activities for campers include archery, arts and crafts, camp fires, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, talent shows and swimming.
Camp Director Kyle Cottrell said the camp offers kids with special needs a place where they can discover a new activity, make new friends and develop more independence.
“Camp ClapHans is a great program that provides
our campers with a fantastic experience. During their week at camp, our campers
will participate in activities like horseback riding, archery, canoeing,
crafting and games,” Cottrell said. “Our hope is that by participating in these
activities, campers will have a boost to their self-confidence and a
willingness to try new things that will stay with them even after camp is
Emily Reimer, 17, has attended Camp ClapHans for
two summers and describes it as “one of the best experiences of my life.”
“It has given me more confidence,” said Reimer,
who has Asperger syndrome and cerebral palsy.
Her mother, Traci, agrees.
“Camp has been such a positive experience for
Emily. She came home from the first year
with a confidence that I had never seen before,” Traci Reimer said. “It was a
life-changing experience that she talked about to everyone she saw.”
Traci Reimer, of Mustang, said one of the reasons
the family chose Camp ClapHans is because her daughter loves to camp and “we
were interested in fostering some independence for her in a safe way.”
“Emily has watched her two younger sisters go to
camp/sleepovers at friends, etc. with a great deal of envy. We were very excited with the idea that she
could experience this without mom having to attend with her.”
“I would encourage other parents to send their
kids to Camp ClapHans to give them the opportunity to have a safe place to
experience independence,” Traci Reimer said.
Camp ClapHans also features a 1-to-1 staff to
camper ratio, registered dietitians on site to address dietary needs for
campers and a physician and nurses available to assist with any medical needs,
staff members work with the J.D. McCarty Center therapists and psychological
clinicians “to ensure campers’ social and emotional needs are being fulfilled,”
Camp staff members are typically university students who are working toward a degree in allied health-care fields, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology; special and general education; outdoor recreation; nutrition and other related fields, he said.
To register for camp, call 405-307-2814 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the
camp, visit campclaphans.com.
This summer will feature a superhero theme. The camp sessions start on Sundays and end on
Wednesdays. Here is the schedule for 2015:
n Session 1: June 14 — June 17
n Session 2: June 21— June 24
n Session 3: June 28 — July 1
n Session 4: July 12 — July 15
n Session 5: July 19 — July 22
Fast facts about Camp ClapHans
Registration: Families can register for Camp ClapHans from now until April 23. To register, call Camp Director Kyle Cottrell at 405-307-2814 or e-mail email@example.com. You
can also visit campclaphans.com for more information.
Age limit: The camp is for kids with special needs ages 8 to 18.
Cost: The cost to attend a three-day camp session is $325, and scholarships are available to families who qualify.
Camp location: The camp is located on the south side of the McCarty Center's property in Norman at 2002 E. Robinson St.
Camp history: The camp opened in June 2013. It is named in honor of the late Sammy Jack Claphan (CQ), a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an Oklahoma native. Claphan played football at the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in special education. He later played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and the San Diego Chargers. After retiring from the NFL, he returned to Oklahoma and became a special education teacher. He died in 2001.
Taylor Cannon, left, a counselor at Camp ClapHans, and camper Emily Reimer,
17, show off artwork they painted on their hands during a camp session in 2014.
Reimer has attended Camp ClapHans for two summers and describes it as “one of
the best experiences of my life.”
Kyle Cottrell is the director of Camp ClapHans, a residential summer
camp in Norman for children with disabilities. The camp is an outreach project
of the J.D. McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities. The
camp opened in 2013.
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