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Adaptability at VJ

By Elizabeth McCurry
October 4, 2021

Behind the Camp Magic: Adaptability at VJ

At Victory Junction we often talk about Camp’s magic and the power that it can have on our campers. But unless you’ve ever been to VJ, it’s hard to see or imagine where that “magic” comes from. In theory, there could be a lot of different sources for this “camp magic.” It could come from the wishes made near the campfire, or from the hopes and dreams shared during cabin chats, or even from the support of counselors and volunteers, who remind campers that they can do anything. In reality, all of these experiences, combined with many others, contribute to the magic of Victory Junction. Some of these features that often go unnoticed are the adaptations that make Camp a barrier-free and fully-accessible experience for every kid who visits.

Boy in wheelchair with two volunteers playing mini-golf
Colored balls and accessible greens help make mini-golf fun for everyone.

Intentionality is at the heart of everything we do at Victory Junction, and that especially applies to our camp programing. Every program area at Camp has adaptations in place to accommodate campers of all abilities, so that everyone can enjoy the experience. Simply put, VJ’s enhanced accessibility features mean that campers always have ways to participate in every activity, regardless of their ability level.

For example, having various colored balls at mini-golf gives campers with visual impairments the opportunity to choose a ball that works best for their abilities. The recreational spaces in the gym and superdome have special cushioned flooring that ensures good traction for campers who either are on foot or use a wheelchair, and it also provides a softer landing in case of a fall.

Boy in swimming pool smiling.
The water's just fine in the temperature-controlled waterpark.

The waterpark is temperature-regulated, so that campers who have difficulty regulating their body temperature can enjoy floating along the lazy river or going down the motorcycle slide. At the horse barn, counselors and staff are specially trained to provide extra support for campers so that they can ride a horse, an activity some campers may not be able do elsewhere.

Our camper cabins have lots added accessibility features, including single-level beds, bed rails, step ladders, and even extra-wide door frames, so that every person staying overnight at Camp has a comfortable place to call their temporary home.

Boy in swimming pool smiling.
The water's just fine in the temperature-controlled waterpark.
Counselors and campers in cabin for Cabin Chat
Special adaptations make the cabins welcoming spaces for campers.

There are so many adaptations that are made all around camp that we barely scratched the surface in this blog post. Some of these adaptations that might seem small to some, make big differences to others. We want you to see them too, so we made a once a month series on our social media to highlight these adaptations. So make sure to watch our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for this series titled the same as this blog post, “Behind the Magic.” We will mention more things around VJ that make our program areas special and we can’t wait for you to read them!

One of our favorite things at camp is to see campers doing things they never thought possible. That is the beauty of adaptations, making it so anyone can do anything! We are always learning more about adaptable programming and making camp more accessible to the campers who like to call VJ their “home away from home.”