VIDEO: A look inside Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan

Elliott Cordingley (far left), a camp counsellor shares a laugh with Samuel Layton (left), Jacob Robbins (far right) and Drake Diehl (middle right) at Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Camp is out for the summer but Easter Seals is already thinking about raising money to send kids to camp next year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Shannon Bernays stands in front of a welcoming poster at Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
James Grahame shows off his joker face paint at Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Zachasry Doberstein shows off his face paint at Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Damien Mydonick enjoys lunch while dressed in a cowboy hat at Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A slide waiting to be used at Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

The music is playing, kids are laughing and a few of them are even wearing fun costumes or have their face painted. While this sounds like most summer camps, there’s something about Easter Seals Shawnigan camp – all the campers live with some sort of disability.

While camp is over for the summer and the kids are returning to school, the memories made will last forever — or at least until more can be created next year.

READ ALSO: Easter Seal’s Drop Zone gives participants chance to rappel down 13-storey Victoria building

Rishabh Gunvante, a councillor at Camp Shawnigan, grew up in India and Singapore and never went to camp as kid.

“This is my first experience at a camp and it’s amazing that it’s at Easter Seals with all these wonderful people,” he said. “It’s been a really good introduction for me.”

Gunvante believes whole-heartedly it can be a magical place, where councillors do everything they can to make a child’s wildest dreams come true.

READ ALSO: Victoria heroes rappel 15 storeys for the Make-A-Wish Foundation

“If a kid loves talking about dinosaurs … we’ll go out of our way to make those dreams come alive,” he said. “We’ll make dinosaur costumes and we’ll run around acting like dinosaurs … that’s the magic of camp.”

Easter Seals works to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities through their summers camps, the Easter Seals House, post-secondary awards and community access.

On Sept. 9 Easter Seals holds its annual Drop Zone to raise awareness and funds for the summer camp. The Easter Seals Drop Zone allows participants — who have raised a minimum of $500 — to rappel down the CIBC building in downtown Victoria

Black Press Media reporter, Kendra Crighton, takes part in this year’s event and will provide coverage on the Easter Seal’s camp and the Drop Zone leading up to Sept. 9.

For more information on Easter Seals summer camps or the Drop Zone visit eastersealsbcy.ca.

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