All Kids Are Special: Why Inclusion Matters & How We Do It
Every single one of us has a purpose, and every single one of us belongs. This is a guiding principle for SpringHill. Inclusion matters. We do whatever it takes to include every child – the impact means the world to each of them.
I have seen this firsthand each week of every summer. One particular example is that of a young man by the name of Marcus. I first noticed him one session scooting around in a wheelchair having a blast. Later that summer, I was back at that camp in almost the exact same setting, and curiously, I saw Marcus again, cruising around like he had been doing earlier in the summer. Now, our experiences are a two-week program, so he shouldn’t have been there. But he was back.
I walked up to him. “Marcus, I see you’re back. Why are you here, doing this all over again?” His answer encapsulates the essence of our experiences. He said, “When I’m at SpringHill, it’s the only time I feel like a normal kid.”
That is the SpringHill experience – embracing all kids, taking them for who they are and how they’re created, including them. We don’t separate those with disabilities or special needs into subgroups. We include them in the community, and Marcus felt a part of this small community of campers and staff. The fact that he was in a wheelchair wasn’t a hindrance; it was a benefit. He took advantage of it, and he just loved being part of a team and a part of the community as a whole.
Marcus reflected on the joy that comes with being part of our community. It’s one of my favorite mental pictures when I think of SpringHill: Marcus growing up through SpringHill, serving, giving back, and being embraced by the community. And in that embrace, he understood the love of Christ because of what he experienced in that community, and what he learned in serving.
We believe that all children, all people, are created in the image of God, and thus deserve the to be treated and served as one. Thus – no matter their situation or disability – are welcomed and encouraged to come. We figure out how make their experience be the best it can be by creating a tailored plan of care for your child, including one-on-one attention. We have nursing and medical staff on hand to address all their needs. And as with all our kids, our staff members are all fully trained to make sure that all dietary and physical needs are met.
We are all God’s children – our camps reflect this. SpringHill exists to create experiences where Christ can transform the lives of young people. These experiences include embracing all kinds of kids, regardless of who they are, what they’ve done, or where they’ve come from. We hope you’ll give your child – no matter their personal challenges – the opportunity to experience SpringHill and to be embraced for who they are. Learn more by visiting, springhillexperience.com