Camp for Champs is a special camp for children with epilepsy. The three-hour sessions, from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM, offer therapeutic horseback riding, farm activities, water play and crafts to children with epilepsy from 4 to 12 years of age.
Belinda Harding, a certified therapeutic riding instructor and her staff offer a world of horses and green fields on the Rail Fence Farm located near Centerburg in Knox County. Children will have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities while their safety is ensured by trained volunteers. An occupational therapist will also be available to provide positioning therapy on horseback.
The Epilepsy Foundation provides sponsorships for ten children to participate in Camp for Champs. Parents are asked to contribute $50.00 per child toward program expenses. Some scholarships are available for those who cannot contribute this fee. Camper selection is based upon receipt of completed applications. Transportation to and from Rail Fence Farm is the responsibility of the camper’s parents.
Siblings of campers, who are between 4 and 12 years of age, may participate in the crafts and activities, not including horseback riding, for a fee of $50.00 which is the responsibility of the parents. This fee also includes refreshments (if a child is able to have them) and a camp tee shirt. A completed Liability Waiver is required for each sibling who visits the farm. For siblings who have disabilities, a medical history and physician’s statement form must be submitted as well.
If Camp for Champs sounds like a great opportunity for your child, please call Carol Johnson, 614-315-0437, for more information.
Thoughts Behind Camp for Champs
Horses to a child can appear gigantic. Even a strapping adult may approach a thousand pound horse with trepidation, let alone a fifty pound, 5 year old child. Yet, there is something special that occurs when horse and child meet. What is it? For the children who took part in Camp for Champs, they know–even if they do not have the words to describe it. They have the memories of overcoming personal fears and thrilling to the delights of sitting astride a horse, etched in their minds.
Belinda Harding also has these fond childhood memories as she grew up with horses. She and husband, Herndon, elected to share that special relationship between horse and rider through a camp for children with epilepsy and other disabilities. Belinda, a certified therapeutic riding instructor, and Herndon, a retired psychiatrist, offer a world of horses and green fields on the Rail Fence Farm located near Centerburg in Knox County. Here, campers not only participate in hippotherapy (occupational therapy on horseback) but are given the opportunity to take part in many crafts and activities that accentuate the farm atmosphere. Feeding Jack the goat is considered a favorite chore as is checking out the fence line while riding in the John Deere farm cart.
When Belinda was asked what made Camp for Champs so special for her, she replied that her feelings are best expressed by a quote from an article in the December 2006 issue of the American Quarter Horse Journal, “All it takes is one ride. One ride to make them laugh, to make them fly, one ride to give them freedom from their physical limitations.”
If Camp for Champs sounds like a great opportunity for your child, please email the Epilepsy Foundation at email@example.com and let us know that you would like to be included!
These camps are made possible in part by contributions from The Williams Family Foundation, PACE, and through private donations.