Even though autumn has officially arrived and the dreams of summer are fading, Dale from Team 16 was eager to share his experiences at Wonderland Camp from this year. “I’ve been going to camp ever since I was a kid,” he says. “I love camp.”
Wonderland Camp is located in Rocky Mount, Missouri at the Lake of the Ozarks and they have been hosting people with disabilities at their camp for more than 45 years. The camp provides an educational, fun summer camp experience for people of all abilities and ages. In 2013, they hosted more than 1,000 campers and they continue to grow. Many campers, like Dale, come back year after year.
“Dale loves going to Wonderland Camp,” says Alethea Hansen, Site Supervisor at Team 16. “Whenever he comes home he is excited to show everyone awards he has won and talk about his favorite parts of camp which is usually the dance.”
Dale says he does love the dance party, but he also has many other favorite things about camp. He enjoys making crafts, and this year he built a birdhouse which is proudly displayed in his apartment. He says he also likes playing all the games and visiting the canteen for snacks. The talent show is pretty fun, too, he says. Since he has been a camper for many years, he says he also enjoys seeing his old friends and making new friends each summer. “I have lots of friends at camp,” says Dale. “It is a great place. I love it all.”
Boone County Family Resources has funded several Wonderland Campers each year. Agency-wide, BCFR paid for 58 individuals to attend camp this year – an activity that all who participate look forward to with great anticipation.
When Dale is not reminiscing about Wonderland Camp, he works part-time at Central Missouri Subcontracting Enterprises (CMSE) where he has been employed for 30 years. When asked how much longer he was going to work Dale said, “I’m not ready to retire yet. I like my job and I look forward to payday every two weeks!”
Dale also likes to stay active and he generally walks around the neighborhood each day or he rides his bike. He says next to going to camp, watching football is his next favorite thing to do and he has proudly proclaimed that he is MU football’s biggest fan.
As autumn settles in and the weather turns cooler, Dale said he’ll be remembering his good times at Wonderland Camp this past summer and he’ll be ready to go again next year.