After 39 years of providing kids with special needs a unique summer camping experience, Supplemental Assistance to the Handicapped (SATH) Executive Director Linda Allen has announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no KAMP Dovetail this year.
“With the safety and well-being of every camper and volunteer in mind, the SATH Board of Directors has made the very difficult decision to cancel KAMP Dovetail for this year,” Allen said in a news release. “The COVID-19 virus and its possible lingering effects necessitated this heartbreaking decision. Many of our campers and some of our volunteers are at a higher risk due to various health conditions. The board simply cannot jeopardize the health of any camper or volunteer. The SATH board feels the protection and safety of every child and adult who attends is their most important responsibility.”
In addition, Allen said, Dovetail requires months and planning and preparation.
“Volunteer trainings, camper registration, fundraising events and soliciting for donations are just some of the pre-KAMP preparations needed to make KAMP happen. The impact of the quarantine has already pushed our timeline to the limit and a decision had to be made,” she said. “We fully expect to have KAMP Dovetail next year and we look forward to an even bigger and better year of KAMP in 2021. We hope we can count on your continued support as we move forward with plans for the future.
“We will miss our special campers, who bring so much joy into our lives, and we will strive with next year’s KAMP Dovetail Allstars to hit it out of the park.”
Normally held the third week in June, Dovetail is a five-day, four-night camping experiencing at Rocky Fork State Park for children with special needs from Highland, Adams, Brown Clinton and Fayette counties. It serves about 300 children each year and has a staff of approximately 400 volunteers.
It takes about about $80,000 to pull the camp off each year, but parents are only asked to pay a $40 registration fee. And some of those fees are taken care of for parents that can’t afford it.
Campers participate in horse-drawn wagon rides, boating, group pictures, putt-putt golf, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, recreation and arts and crafts. There is also an all-camp treasure hunt, a trip to Star Cinemas in Hillsboro, featured entertainers, a dance and an annual auction and carnival.