St. Vincent's students
CAMP JAKE RICHARD will be our first camp for students at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince. It will be held during the first week of January 2012 at Kaliko Beach. For the precious orphans of St. Vincent’s, Camp Jake will turn a long, winter break with no family, no school, and no respite from cultural ridicule into cherished memories.
ABOUT THE CAMP
Camp Jake is specifically designed for the children with disabilities. The camp will be held for two sessions each year, one in the winter and one in the summer. The children of St. Vincent’s will travel just 1.5 hours north by bus to reach the camp that is worlds away from their everyday lives in the dusty city. There they will be greeted by a volunteer staff of counselors with varying backgrounds, chosen for their ability to provide both a fresh and cohesive camp experience. Throughout the duration of the camp, each participant will receive a physical from qualified medical professionals.
Camp Jake is designed to remove physical and emotional barriers, giving the children an opportunity to engage in:
• Creative arts, such as sculpting, painting, music, sewing, and jewelry making, which will be both fun and therapeutic. These activities will also teach valuable skills that may enable career opportunities later in life.
• Physical outlets including sports, aquatics, dancing, and even a special Olympics designed to develop their self confidence.
• Social activities including cooking, dancing, storytelling, and cultural exchanges between the children and the counselors.
Campers will be encouraged to wholly express themselves physically and emotionally. They will have the opportunity to explore life in ways that will broaden their horizons, creating life-long memories.
THE CAMP'S NAMESAKE
Jake Richard is a vibrant teenager with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and progressive disease that involves rapidly worsening muscle weakness. His life expectancy is in his mid teens.
Jake's wish has always been to make a difference in the lives of other people who may have lost hope due to a disability. He has taken his wish to heart by working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a Goodwill Ambassador, attending fundraisers and media events, and being featured on the national MDA Telethon.
He and his mother began running together in 2009 and have accomplished 5k, 10k and half marathons together, evoking the spirit of their motto “Always look on the bright side of life.” Jake sits in a custom made push chair in his favorite color, orange. They created Team Jacob to inspire others with hope and courage no matter what obstacles you are facing. The team's favorite quote is "Always look on the bright side of life" and that's exactly what they do when they run and now through the creation of Camp Jake.
The Red Thread Promise is honored to name Camp Jake after this exceptional young man.
St. Vincent's students