The Junior League of Little Rock, created Kota Camp as an innovative service project with Camp Aldersgate. Kota Camp, derives its name from the language of the Quapaw Native American Tribe indigenous to Arkansas. “Kota” is the Quapaw word for “friend,” and the benefits of friendship drive the camp’s objectives. Kota Camps are inclusionary camps for disabled and non-disabled children, ages 6 to 18. Children with disabilities and medical conditions, along with their non-disabled siblings and friends, come together to experience the benefits that camp can offer. Kota Camps are offered twice during the summer as a week-long camp, as well as twice during the school year as a weekend camping experience.
The JLLR provides funding for the Kota camps. In addition, JLLR volunteers help plan and implement special events and activities at the Kota camps, such as fishing tournaments, ice cream socials, tribal games, and dances. Additionally, all Kota campers able to participate in activities such as archery, music, an adventure/challenge course, canoeing, swimming, and arts and crafts. These activities increase campers’ self-esteem by creating opportunities for them to meet personal challenges. Through fun and friendship, campers develop a better understanding and an awareness of both themselves and each other.
Camp Aldersgate is a nonprofit organization offering year-round programs for Arkansas children with special needs, including summer medical camps, weekend respite care, youth volunteer programs, as well as a Senior Day Out. The 120-acre camp is one of eight camps in Arkansas accredited by the American Camp Association and continues to be the only camp in Arkansas designed for children with disabilities. The Kota Camp partnership project is an additional camp in Aldersgate’s schedule of specialty camps and weekend respite care.
For volunteer opportunities with this Junior League of Little Rock Community Partner visit Camp Aldersgate, http://www.campaldersgate.net/volunteer.