Posted on July 26, 2021

Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp is back in action

ALLENDALE, Mich. – After a year off due to COVID-19, campers are back and ready to play. Over 40 kids with disabilities are attending Mary Free Bed’s Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp. All week, participants from the ages of 7 – 18 will try sports such as lacrosse, kayaking and sled hockey and will make friends and memories with kids “just like them.”

When: Monday, July 26 – Friday, July 30
Where: Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI (Lot C West)

The sport sessions run daily from 8:45 – 11:45 a.m. and 1 – 3:45 p.m. and include 11 different sports: basketball, cycling, dodgeball, football, frisbee golf, handball, kayaking, lacrosse, sled hockey, softball and tennis. The highlight of camp every year is a water fight with the Allendale Fire Department, Thursday, July 29, from 3 – 4 p.m.

Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports program hosts the camp, which is in its 37th year. Campers from all over Michigan, Indiana and Ohio attend. The camp is led by instructors who are also competitive wheelchair athletes and former campers return as volunteers to help mentor and encourage the younger kids.

Camp will look a little different this year with the participants required to wear masks when indoors. Camp will also just be a day camp with the overnight portion being unavailable this year. However, the joy and excitement will still be the same, as everyone is grateful camp is back.

Over 40 volunteers will work tirelessly to help make camp happen for the participants. Many volunteers return year after year, including members of the Mary Free Bed Guild, two of which have been volunteering since the start of camp, over 35 years ago.