ARC summer camp is a big hit

MANISTEE — The smiles and laughter were plenty of proof that that those taking part in the ARC of Manistee for People With Disabilities camp at the Manistee Intermediate School District building were having fun on Thursday morning.

All of those taking part in the ARC of Manistee for People With Disabilities Camp pose for a group picture to mark the occasion.

All of those taking part in the ARC of Manistee for People With Disabilities Camp pose for a group picture to mark the occasion.

ARC of Manistee for People With Disabilities has traditionally put on a series of activities designed including a summer camp that was held Thursday.  They also have a Halloween and Christmas programs for local citizens with disabilities as well.

ARC board member Carol Rackow said their group has made a strong comeback in 2018. She pointed out that the board was kind of in limbo last year, but is back up and running strong to provide programs this year. The camp is for anyone with a disability 10 years of age and up.

“We started them back with a one day a week camp for a month last year,” said Rackow. “This year with the help of Rob Carpenter at the Armory Youth Project we were able to start them back up with our regular two day a week camp this year that has met every Tuesday and Thursday at that location since June. Some of these older ones have been doing the camp  for years and they really like it.”

The Armory Youth Project was a perfect location for the camp according to Rackow. It gave them a base for their programs, but also the opportunity to visit other surrounding areas to participate in fun events.

But more importantly, this year they had some additional funding to make those events possible.

“We went Bowling twice and to play miniature golf once along with a trip to the Vogue Theatre,” said Rackow. “Our biggest thing was if we could afford to keep running things but the Little River Casino gave us a grant from their annual golf outing, the Knights of Columbus through their annual Tootsie Roll drive, the businesses in the community, individuals and some individual donations.

“United Way pays the staff, Kaleva Norman Dickson School District superintendent Marlen Cordes gave us a bus to use and we got a transportation grant from the Manistee County Community Foundation to cover those costs.”

AlsoTim Klenow, who is the food service director for Onekama, KND and Bear Lake Schools worked out a program that provided free lunches with the Feed America campaign.

“Last year we had to do with the help of volunteers, but because of the financial help we received it made it possible for us to bring it back full time with staff from the ISD,” said Rackow.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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