EFMP Camp: ACS offers five days of fun for local kids
August 18, 2009
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Andre Ross, 10, said he really enjoyed making his papier-mAfAcchAfA football at the Arts and Cultural Center Aug. 12, but he said the best part of the Heidelberg Exceptional Family Member Program Summer Camp was visiting the animals at the Walldorf Tierpark.
Andre was also looking forward to 'mountain climbing' at the Kletterwald, a ropes climbing course he and the 10 other fellow campers were to attend Aug. 20.
This year's camp was the second year the Heidelberg Army Community Service has hosted the five-day camp, which included horse back riding, the ropes course, the tierpark as well as music and art classes.
The original proposal for EFMP camps in Heidelberg was an Army Family Covenant program, and the care givers are all respite care providers under the covenant.
The week before camp, team members met individually with the children and their parents to talk about the week and to get first-hand knowledge about the children's special needs.
The children, aged 5-11, had a wide range of disabilities ranging from speech delays and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to autism spectrum disorders.
Regardless of their abilities, a team of care givers ushered them through the week.
"I'm real pleased with how well it ran because of the staff," said Helena Palmer, EFMP coordinator in Heidelberg, adding that their professionalism, ability to act on their feet and a lot of planning ahead got them through the week.
(Editor's Note: Jason Austin writes for the USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg newspaper, the Herald Post.)