Hill special-needs families experience ‘Camp K’

The Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors recently provided “Adventure Day at Camp K” for Hill AFB Special Needs Families at Camp Kostopulos. As the Exceptional Family Member Program – Family Support Specialist, I fell in love with all Camp K has to offer the minute I stepped foot on its beautiful grounds. 

The “Adventure Day at Camp K” event gave Hill AFB families an opportunity to participate in a variety of exciting activities such as swimming, horseback riding, fishing, wall climbing and a low ropes course. Participants were even treated to an amazing lunch.

I was honored to assist in gathering families to attend and to take part in such an amazing event.

Camp K — located in the heart of Emigration Canyon near Salt Lake City — was founded in 1967 by Dan Kostopulos and his wife, Helen, who had a dream of helping individuals with disabilities of nearly every description improve their quality of life through recreation, education and growth opportunities. 

Camp K is unique in the fact that its services are available to people of all abilities, including those who may not be eligible for services at other camps or facilities. The camp’s well-trained and highly professional staff, many of whom also have disabilities, provide care and assistance that makes it possible for campers to take part in physical activities that would ordinarily be considered beyond the reach for people with disabilities.

Camp K offers residential, day, travel trip and partner camps throughout the summer, encompassing equestrian, specialty, community-based and team-building programs. 

Participants come from across the United States to take part. Over the past 48 years, Camp K has served literally thousands of children and adults. 

Who knew the Kostopulos’ dream would be going so strong after nearly half a century?

Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors representatives were on hand at lunch time and did a great job of expressing their appreciation and admiration of the service and sacrifices made by military families — especially those faced with the daily challenge of raising special-needs children in military settings. 

Canine Companions representatives also took part. They showcased several of their super-talented puppies in training and did a fantastic job of educating participants about their phenomenal service dog program. 

“Adventure Day at Camp K” provided a unique opportunity for parents and siblings a unique insight and deeper appreciation of the physical and mental capabilities of their loved ones with special needs.

Children grow in confidence and families strengthen their bonds with not only their children, but also with other families facing similar challenges. 

Friendships form and support systems grow stronger. 

Hill AFB is extremely fortunate to have a world-class organization such as the Kostopulos Dream Foundation nearby and even luckier to have the outstanding support of generous entities such as the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors helping to enrich the lives of our military families.

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