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Enhancing the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through recreation, socialization and life skills education.


A Special Thank You To Our Board Of Directors A major cornerstone of Camp Blue Skies’ success is our Board of Directors, a group of people with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Some of these folks have been with us before we even had a camp. The Board meets throughout the year to review our work and guide the organization. They are always available to help with decisions, both big and small. You’ll often see them visiting a session, leading a program and sometimes, they even join in for Karaoke and Skit Night. Over the years, the Board of Directors have helped:

 Recruit campers and volunteers;  Create and guide programming;  Secure donations and support fundraising efforts;  Provide strategic direction. We are forever grateful for their leadership and advice. Please join us in celebrating their service!

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS John Alexander John Barry Bob Bowler Jade Carter Tom Cox

Lori Gougeon Andy Kane Phil Norwood Dick Sesler

Visit to learn more about our board.

A Week Filled With Fun, Excitement And Friends In October, Clay Conrad will arrive at YMCA Camp Harrison for his sixth session of Camp Blue Skies, and he can’t wait. “It's fun and full of excitement!” he says. “I love the activities and the people are great.” Clay lives in Atlanta and has worked at Park ’N Fly since 2004, with support from CEO Tony Paalz and his coworkers. Growing up, Clay attended summer camp in Pennsylvania. He enjoyed that time in the Poconos and saw great Broadway shows during Parent Weekend each summer. At age 21, that opportunity ended.

“Come to Camp Blue Skies because it's

Clay and his parents were the best! I really love the staff members, thrilled to learn about Camp Blue Skies and the chance to counselors, campers – I like the healthy make new friends, have fun food, too! I have so many friends.” and learn more about being healthy. He likes that activities change each session, but his of swimming with the Atlanta Metro favorites are Skit Night, arts and crafts, Ducks at Emory University. As a mempaddleboats, African drumming and all ber of The Happy Club, he attends the sports! Braves games and enjoys other recreaHe’s attended sessions in North Carolitional events. na and Georgia. “It's hard to say which is For anyone on the fence about attending my favorite but the cooler fall temperaa session or volunteering, Clay had this tures in the N.C. mountains was my first piece of advice: “I would say, ‘Come to Camp Blue Skies so it's very special.” Camp Blue Skies because it's the best!’ I When he’s not at camp or work, Clay really love the staff members, counseenjoys going to movies, taking frequent lors, campers – I like the healthy food, walks along the Chattahoochee River too! I have so many friends. And please with his family, and going bowling with volunteer because it's so much fun and his Dad. Clay has just finished a season we need volunteers at Blue Skies.”

 Engage, Encourage, Enjoy!

5 Questions: Doug Sheffield, First-Time Volunteer Bikes Provide Opportunities One Ride At A Time One of the best parts of camp is providing our campers with opportunities they might not have had when they were kids. For many, learning to ride a bike is a right of passage that provides a sense of freedom and accomplishment. Thanks to Frannie Root (Camp Blue Skies-NC 2013 volunteer) and Brandon Tyrrell, our campers will have the chance to ride adult tricycles at our Georgia 2016 session. In the summer of 2014, Frannie and Brandon created Pedals for People, a grassroots fundraiser to buy tricycles while each completed long distance bike tours. Brandon rode The Great Divide trail from Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, and Frannie rode most of the way from California to Mexico along the Pacific coast. Both of these amazing adventurers will be joining us at camp to share their passion for riding with our community. We are humbled and honored to be the recipient of such a thoughtful fundraiser and can't wait to hop on and enjoy the ride next March.

Doug Sheffield and Dick Sesler grew up across the street from each other in Ohio. And Doug was a fraternity brother of Jon Holcomb’s at Ohio Wesleyan. When Camp Blue Skies offered its first Ohio session in 2014, Doug agreed to help with fundraising and to make connections with the help of a co-worker who has a son with developmental disabilities. Doug hadn’t planned to volunteer. He didn’t have any experience with adults with developmental disabilities. And he hadn’t grown up going to camp. Doug realized, though, he needed to volunteer. “If I was going to ask people for contributions, I thought I should have first-hand experience.” Here’s what Doug had to say about being a first-time volunteer in a quick Q&A: What did you tell coworkers and friends after camp? “ I don't know who had the better experience or learned more, me or the campers.” A favorite memory? “Watching several campers in my group overcome their fear of heights on the giant swing and

Our Family Tree Grows! Welcome To The World, Kate! Rebecca Hillinski and her family welcomed Kate in May! Big brother, Eric, is showing her the ropes. And you might get to see her at a session this fall. And Hello There, Watson. Kit Sluder added a new member to her family, Watson. He’s a sweet guy who loves snuggles and making people smile.

listening to others cheer for them to succeed.” What surprised you the most? “The amount of positive energy sustained for the entire camp. Also the joy the campers exhibited in doing things that I used to take for granted – such as fishing and passing the football – but learned to enjoy again.” What would you tell someone who hasn’t volunteered with adults with developmental disabilities? “I had no experience working with this population prior to camp and after signing up, I felt very much out of my comfort zone. The staff is very helpful and there to answer questions, and the other volunteers who have experience are a tremendous support.” What are some other ways you have supported Camp Blue Skies? “It's little, but every bit counts: I have named Camp Blue Skies as my charity on AmazonSmile – so camp gets some benefit from my online purchases. I also participate in Hoops for Camp.”

Special thanks to volunteers in Georgia who have volunteered for 5 years! Top row from left: Brent Wolfe, Wrigley, Claire Goodwin Bottom row from left: Jerri Kropp, Josh Cagliani, Pat Murphy

Hooked on Camp Fishing Derby Sept. 10-11 In September at the third annual Hooked on Camp Fishing Derby, 20 anglers will enjoy a morning of unparalleled largemouth bass and bream fishing with professional guides on the private lake at YMCA Camp Harrison, home of Camp Blue Skies-NC. Seasoned volunteers Gene Vaughan and John Lenhart are joined this year by boat sponsor Brooks Runkle of REDLINE Design Group. Together, the three avid fishermen have secured a full field of anglers. The cost to participate in the derby is $1,000, with $900 being tax deductible and going straight to support the mission of Camp Blue Skies. To add your name to the wait list, email Leighann@CampBlueSkies.Org.

Circle of L

ve - Our Volunteers

Our Circle of Love comprises the dedicated persons who have recently given their time, love and support - all priceless gifts. Catherine Barnes John Barnes Amanda Bastien Hayley Beacham Jon Beall Josh Bishop Valerie Bohannon Michelle Borg Kalon Carpenter David Collie John Conner Mike Coulter Aly DiCiancia Carly Dickson Cindy Dyer Cecilia Evans Courtlyn Fussell Claire Goodwin Caroline Greene Jim Guimond Wendy Hall Mo Herrington Priscilla Holland

Sarah Holmes Sean Illgen Wes Imundo Suzie Kegley Jared Knapp Jerri Kropp Joe Kropp Abbey LaMee Chris Leach Lanse Leach Jessie Lehmann John Lenhart Jordan Loggins Katie Merson Mike Molinari Madison Monk Darren Monsanto Christina Moran Pat Murphy Pete Muzyka Jordan Nourse Tiffany Park Janki Patel

Bradley Pratt Brian Pritchard Debby Rea Michael Robinson Emily Rogers Alan Ross Kacy Saint-Cyr Mark Sluder Dan Sturzenbecker Becca Taunton Erica Teilhaber Sarah Thomas Sendy Tran Mike Tyson Trina von Waldner Jacqueline Wabler Kori Williams Brent Wolfe Daniel Wood Weimin Yuan

Thanks To Ambassadors & BB&T! Camp Blue Skies Ambassadors, with a generous donation from BB&T Bank, hosted more than 60 campers, volunteers and supporters at a Charlotte Knights baseball game at BB&T Ballpark on June 21. Thanks to everyone who made the day so incredible. A special shoutout to The C-Team: Christy Eayrs, Cristy Nine and Christie Sproles!

Thank You to Our Recent Donors

Susan Daniel Will Daniell Thank you to all organizations and individuals who provide financial and in-kind Alan and Pam Davis support for the work of Camp Blue Skies. This list recognizes all donations from Diane Davis Jan. 1 to June 15, 2015. Edward Davis Edward Wilson Davis Blue Skies ($5,000+) Cristy Nine Joseph Braidish Kristen Harris Davis Charlotte Woman's Club Todd and Laura Parker Jennifer Branham Tom Day Ida Alice Ryan Charitable Trust Summit Support Services Tim and Maggie Brennan Mike and Susan DeBruin John and Mary Franklin Collin and Christy Wade Matt Brenner Andrew DeLamielleure Foundation Rob and Susan Zink Karen Breth The Deckards The Leon Levine Foundation Regina A. Bright Brenda and Lester Dempsey Helping Hands (up to $249) Robert Brink The Merancas Foundation Crystal Dempsey Mark Abrahm Salus Property Investments Andrew and Christy Brock John J. Dever Claire and Charlie Adams Jake and Carson Brock Steele and Molly Dewey Zipliners ($1,000 - $4,999) Kim Aghjayan Kristen Brown Diamond Hill Capital Jonathan Beall Jorge Aliaga Bernal Chris Brunner Management, Inc. Bonitz Flooring Group, Inc. Michele Allen Rob and Donna Burdick Dan M. Dillon Robert and Gwen Dalton Allstate Mark F. Burgeson Joanne Dionne Dynamic Health and Pain Steven and Amy Almany Cal Calhoun Annie Dixon Management Austin and Ann Anderson Valerie Caras Cheryl Dobbins Curtis Johnson Scott Anderson Emily J. Carlin Dave Dougherty and Anita John and Coletta Lenhart Christy Arenschield Gay Cass Blanchard Leonard Herring Foundation Wilson Bacon Catter Enterprises, Inc. Bob Dowen Dorothy Moss William Bagley Justin M. Caudill Elizabeth and Jason Downey Poly-Tech Industries Bank of America Foundation Copeland C. Cherry Adam Dretler Kent Rinker Sloan Barker Kristen Christman Mojdeh and Paul Drobnitch Allan and Bonnie Sweet Jack Barker Robert Christo Michael Dumdie ValMark Securities Global Holly Barker Allison Clark and Kim Brattain Stephanie Dunaway-Dickson Gift Fund James Barker John and Louise Clarkson Francie Dunlap Warco Construction, Inc. Bradford and Alison Barry Marguerite and William Eric James Dusenbury Bill and Barbra Wood Elizabeth Coley Barry Clarkson Lorie R. Easton Brandi Bazemore David F. Cline Michelle Eckman Dude Ranchers ($500 Beacon Partners Tracy Connor Irv and Candy Edelstein $999) Frances Bendert Wes Connor Rock and Beth Edwards Chip and Darlene Conrad Marinn and Scott Bengel Patrice M. Cook Precision Plumbing Tom and Millie Cox Abby Bennett Scott Cook Lane Erwin Brock and Nicole Fankhauser Ariana Bennett John P. Cooleen Andrew Esbenshade Will and Jenny Joyner Joe Van Benten Cathey S. Cooper Mary Eshet Morgan Stanley Charlie F. Bernstein Matthew Copeland Katie Estridge Edwin B. Peacock Jr. Shawn and Johann Betschart Showalter Construction The Euart Family Theodore and Beverly Ann Erskine Betts K. Grant Cox Steve and Janice Ezzo Schnormeier John Bitner Dalton and Ashley Cox Linus Fankhauser Dee Schwab James Blecke Jim Teat Philip G. Fankhauser Cabin Mates ($250 - $499) Eric J. Blinn Dan Crane Phyllis P. Farr Jane Blount Rand and Addison Ayer Court Creeden John Farrell Patrick Bone Tom Beaty Gertha Crumpler Brad A. Farris Derek and Katie Bongard Greg Blinn William K. Culpepper Allison Fellows Robert Boyle Adam Fiorenza Candace L. Cupples Fidelity Charitable Fund Lori Bracale Tom and Alice Gavigan Timothy D. Curl David and Lara Filgas April D. Bradley Richard Henley Jonathan Currier Charles B. Fisher Amanda Brady Henry Hinrichsen John S. Curry Brian and Laurie Fitzpatrick William P. Brady Peter James William Czupryna Andrew Flick Stephen Bragg Anne Johnson Dave Dabson Marc Folladori Jeremy and Anne Braidish Donna Knowlton Harry M. Dalton Emily Followill

Kevin Fossum Duke Energy Foundation Jess Frazier Catharine Q. Fromknecht Jason Fugate Jeanne A. Fugate Andrea Hodges Funk Tom Gabbard Lee Gabriel Reggie Gaither Randy Kate Galvin Daniel Gassaway Steve and Michelle Gassaway Richard and Lindsay Gerakitis Miller Getz Nadia Ghneim Eric Gibson Tim Gilbertsen Andy Gitelson James Gober Katherine P. Goldsmith Karen Golembeski Troy David Golinghorst Tammy and Brian Goodman Rachel Gordon-Roberts Lori Gougeon Tommy Graham Monica Granados Nan Gray Ken Greenberg David Greig Brian Gribble Rex and Nancy Gribble Ashley Groome Mary C. Grum Michelle L. Gutt Tim Haley Addie Hall Chas Hamill Katharine Hammeke T. Patrick Hammeke Markus Hammer Stacee Longenecker Cassie Hanavich Barton Jay Hanline Peter Hansen Lauren Harper Mike Harrell Mike and Becky Harris George P. Burdell John Hartnett The Haseleys Mike and Mary Ann Haughton Julie Hausner (Continued on page 5)

Hoops For Camp Breaks Record And Inspires Boy To Give More! The Hoops For Camp NCAA Men’s Basketball Bracket Challenge broke another record this year with $31,455 raised by 538 donors. And while we’re grateful for everyone’s generosity, there’s one supporter who deserves the spotlight: Wilson Bacon, 10. His mother, Alex Bacon, explains: “The Camp Blue Skies videos gave our family a view into your camp world that deeply touched our hearts and, quite frankly,

moved Wilson in a way I never saw coming. When he asked to forego birthday presents this year in exchange for Camp Blue Skies donations, I did not believe it. “I am indebted to Camp Blue Skies for creating an opportunity for Wilson to demonstrate empathy in a totally self-originating way… and for me as a parent, it has been an absolute gift to witness.”

Will Millikan, Dick Sesler and Wilson Bacon

(Helping Hands continued)

Brian Henry Kelly S. Hevener Susan J. Hilger Ben and Rebecca Hilinski Frannie Hilsman Hamilton Hilsman Yates, Ali Lola Hilsman Ashley Holcomb Brett and Sarah Holcomb Jon and Brenda Holcomb Matthew Steven Holcomb Vanessa and Greg Holcomb Dabney Hollis Pam Holloway Greta Holmes Carolyn P. Hotham Ellen Houpt John Houser Carin A. Hudson Scott Hundertmark Kelly Hurtik Gaynelle H. Ihms Michael and Kristina Ina Jay Jalbert Arwen Johnson Chris Jones Dana Jones Sarah and Austin Jowers John and Shelly Kacergis Andy and Florence Kane Tasha Kaplan Sean Kehoe Amy E. Kellogg Susan and Don Kemp Brian Kennedy Joni Kennedy Jim Kenney Geoffrey Keough Gregory Kershner Beth Khan Kipp Kiger Sally and Matt King Julie Kinnavy Phillip Kinney Jamie Kneisel Peter J. Koch Jason Kohler Emily Korotkin Gregg and Cathy Kowalski Andrew R. Laarhoven Jeannie Lampo JoAnn V. Larsen Nancy Lee Page Leggett Allison Leinker Debra Leist Frank A. Lepik

Karen Levanson Kathleen G. Levanson Boyd Lewis Dale and Constance Lewis Greg Lipscomb Amy Livezey Bruce Logue Brian Lombardo Bob and Laurie Long Jim Long Jim Loutzenhiser Robert and Debra Lowery Trevor Lyman Eric Machemer Kristyn Magulak Harry and Cindy Malcom Ros Mallory Richard Maloy Alexandra Mangimelli The Marascio Family Micah A. Martin Steven Martinek Renee Masi Ron J. Mason Julia C. Massaro Jim and Amy Matesich Anna and Brian Matthews Brian Matthews Sloane Mayberry Marc McAfee Angus McBryde John McClain Mike McConnell Jim and Ann McFarland Lisa McIntyre John and Holly McKinley Drew McKnight George and Charlie Hall Suzanne E. McMillan Bill McNitt Andrew McWilliams Wendy Melaragno Amy and Bill Millikan Charles D. Ming David and Laurie Metzger Callie Michael Jaclyn Miles Rebecca Miles Angie Miller Christine Miller Damian Miller Donald A. Miller Monica S. Miller Nick M. Miller Bob and Joy Millikan Rachel Milowski Catherine Mitchell Isabella Molinari Maria Eugenia Molinelli Kerri Laubenthal Mollard

Aaron Monroe Hilary Moore Kevin O. Moran John Bruce Morrill Kathleen E. Morris Zachary Joseph Mulligan Kenneth Mulrane Colby and Bobby Murphy Link and Debby Murphy Pat Murphy Shay Bacak Myers Karen G. Neill Nora Neilson Michael J. Neitzel Hilary Nelson Jennie Nicol Phil and Marianne Norwood Bob Nulf Chad Nusbaum John O'Halloran Patrick O'Meara Chris O'Neal Rinehart Builder Marketing Group Margie Odanaka Christi Ossi Caitlin Ott Ashley Palaia Ben Parker Karen Partee Blake Partridge Genevieve Patterson Michael E. Paulhus Tom Paullus Alison C. Pence Doug L. Pennington Mary Pennington Kelly Perigoe Teds Peterson Susan Phillips Brenda K. Pinnell Blake Pittman Brad Pittman Mackenzie Pittman Kelly Plott Paige Polhill Chris Poppell David Porter Gwen Poth Dave and Meredith Powell Scarlet W. Powell Lelia and Bradley Pratt Suzanne Purdy Kristen Quattlebaum Peter Ragosa Nathan and Mary Rantala Shelly Rastogi Amy Ravenelle Tamara Ray Kay A. Raymond Adam Reasoner Bo Reddic Seth Redfield James and Kristen Reed Mark Reeder Brent Reel Andrew Reenstra Elena Reetz Eric and Callie Reinhardt Jamie Reynolds Stephen H. Rhyne Lara Richardson

Bradford Richmond Chip Roach Faith Roberts Reed Roberts Dean Rogers Christina M. Rohr Erin Romeiser In May, 310 Rosemont of Atlanta, John and April Rooker Kathy Rowan a boutique, hosted a "Shop for a Liz Rumbaugh Cause" event and donated Jim Rumph $1,100, a portion of sales, to Mary Rush Camp Blue Skies-Georgia. Elliott Rusk Annette Salazar Lem Sanders J J Thrall Kristin Santo Randy Thrall Jeff Sasser Trish Tooley Steve and Tobie Sasser Steven J. Townley Brian Scales Verdery C. Trimmer Doug Scales The Troup Family Carl Scheppegrell Kenny Turner Chris and Holly Sheila B. Turner Scheppegrell Lisa Tyler Carly Schultz Alex Valente Nelson Schwab Susan Varghese Allison Schweizer Miguel Vega Joe Scroggins Alex Voris Leon G. Scroggins Sabina Vuolo Richard and Betsey Sesler Jacqueline Wabler Tim Shaughnessy Ian Wagoner Doug and Tracy Sheffield Liz and Chip Walker Eric Sheridan Frances Wallace Jack Skolds Daniel L. Ward Carol Sluder Kirk and Liz Ward Kit Sluder Kellee Watson George Smalley George Wells Henry Smalley Paul H. West Molly Smalley Marie White Catherine M. Smith Kathleen Whitson Nancy Smith Bob and Laura Wiberg Sherese Smith Oscar Wildez Giovanni Smyth Dawn Desmond Kevin Spellman Jason Williams Martin and Deborah Spigner Jennifer Williams Rebecca Spigner Kevin and Kristin Williams Marlene Spritzer Tom Wilson Carl Sproles Andrew Winchester Karla Sproles John R. Winfield Thomas Stabile Laurie Winston Billy Stark Meghan and Steve Wiseman Blair and Jon Staunton Jaysen and Ashley Jim and Marcie Steen Witherspoon Lydia Stern Greg Wnuk Deborah J. Stewart Benjamin and Brittany The Stone Family Woerth Tom and KC Strohbehn Sandra and Jim Woolsey David Strozak Alanna Worrell John D. Stubbs Ida Wozniak Andrew Sullivan David Wreb Mark and Lydia Surles Fran Wright Charles Swanson Peter D. Wright Leighann Swanson Vikrant Yalavarti Meredith Swanzy Edwin Yarbrough Steve R. Switaj Jon Yarger Erin and Ali Tanker Stephen Yoder The Tauber Family Beth Zilka Joe Taylor Marilyn Zilka Jim Teat Meredith and Peter Lisa Smith Ten Eyck Becky L. Von Zastrow Tamyra Thomas Graham Thompson Steve Thompson


1101 Queens Road West Charlotte, NC 28207 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

NC Session 1 Camp Blue Skies-Georgia 2015

Camp Blue Skies-Georgia 5 Year Campers!

Sept. 10-11: Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby YMCA Camp Harrison, Boomer, NC Contact: Leighann Swanson,

Oct. 3-7: Camp Blue Skies-NC YMCA Camp Harrison, Boomer Volunteer orientation: Oct. 2 Contact: Rebecca Hillinski,

March 14-18, 2016: Camp Blue Skies-GA Camp Twin Lakes, Rutledge Volunteer orientation: March 13 Contact: Annie Garrett,

Sept. 14-18: Camp Blue Skies-Ohio Recreation Unlimited, Ashley Volunteer orientation: Sept. 13 Contact: Debra Lowery,

Oct. 10-14: Camp Blue Skies-NC YMCA Camp Harrison, Boomer Volunteer orientation: Oct. 9 Contact: Rebecca Hillinski,

CONTACT INFO 704-266-2267 •

Profile for Camp Blue Skies Foundation

Camp Blue Skies 2015 summer newsletter  

On The Ground is the bi-annual newsletter for Camp Blue Skies, a nonprofit providing traditional camp experience for adults with development...

Camp Blue Skies 2015 summer newsletter  

On The Ground is the bi-annual newsletter for Camp Blue Skies, a nonprofit providing traditional camp experience for adults with development...