Celebrating 10 years of Camp Shriver
Camp Shriver, an inclusive sports camp for students with and without disabilities, started the summer off with a huge event on Tuesday, July 7th to commemorate and celebrate their tenth year anniversary at UMass Boston. The event featured a speech from Tim Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics International and the best-selling author of the new book Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most. Shriver is a former Camp Shriver student, who came to speak to students about his own experiences in the program and to honor his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, one of the initial founders.
J. Keith Motley, the chancellor of UMass Boston, also delivered praise for the program’s inclusivity. During one motivating speech, an alumni of the program, Lydia, discussed overcoming obstacles in her life and how many people told her that she could not go to a regular high school and college because of her disabilities. Lydia concluded her speech with a comment about her upcoming enrollment at Kent State University, depicting her passion for education.
I spoke with Mark Spolidoro, the program’s director. During our meeting, he reminisced about the times he had at Camp Shriver, stating that “We’ve become better able to support campers that require more needs” and that “the camp has become more diverse due to the changing times”. Spolidoro also mentioned that he has a lot of things planned for the camp such as getting more exposure, and the possibility of having camp on Saturdays.
This summer, Camp Shriver will continue to follow its sports-based routine which will keep students active and engaged. I am excited to report on this program, and confident that the participants will have an amazing summer.