The Difference Diversity Makes

Photo Courtesy Of Easter Seals Nova Scotia, Camp Tidnish

When I was nine years old, my mother accepted a summer job as a camp counselor. Since she would be working full-time, my sister and I were allowed to attend the summer camp for free! My sister and I were very excited to have the opportunity to participate in all of the activities. We learned how to swim, make friendship bracelets, and even performed dance routines. We made life-long friends that I am still in contact with today.

The camp included a few children with special needs. Sometimes other campers were unkind to them out of fear, ignorance, or who knows what. My parents had instilled in my sister and I good values and we knew that this was wrong. We became friends with these girls and got to know them for the smart and funny people that they were.

When I was asked to be the guest editor I knew immediately what I wanted to write about. Thankfully society’s increased awareness about disabilities has improved people’s attitudes about inclusion. People are more aware of these issues and celebrate their differences. Serving children with special needs in the camp setting is an important issue that I feel strongly about. This article is meant to encourage you to think about ways that you could serve children with special needs in your programs.

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue. My holiday wish for you is this, “May this winter give you the time to think about the ways we can all serve one another better!”

Beth Lecroy

Executive Director

Central YMCA Family Center

YMCA of Arlington

2200 S. Davis Dr.

Arlington, TX 76017

817-274-9622 ext. 46