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Dauphin County special needs camp salutes soldiers - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County special needs camp salutes soldiers

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For a group of young people in upper Dauphin County, Camp Susquehanna is not just a summer day camp, it's a place for learning and growing among those who understand. It's a place where what can't be done takes a back seat to what can.

"It's a great time. They ... Socializ[e] with their peers. It's educational, but in a fun way. They get to experience things they wouldn't normally get to experience," said Camp Director Susan Machamer.

For 36 summers, the Arc of Dauphin County has hosted the month-long sessions for school aged campers with intellectual disabilities. The camp, which takes place at Millersburg High School, is a sister program to the Arc's 50-year old Camp Sertoma in Harrisburg.

Spokeswoman Carla Craig said the Arc's summer camp is much more than summer fun.

"Camp Susquehanna is such a magical place because the kids are able to have time with their peers, work on social skills, learn crafts," she said, "and we also sneak in some learning for them."

The camp's theme this summer was American heroes, a salute to the men and women of the armed forces. Campers learned the basics of the different branches of service, and made crafts depicting some of the gear, vehicles and vessels used by the military.

"It's on a really, really fundamental level, but they really seem to get a lot out of it," Machammer said. "They like making the different crafts and projects that tie into the branches."

Machamer admits she chose the theme, partly to honor of her son Aaron, who has been helping at the camp for several years and will soon be joining the United States Air Force.

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