CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Making their way down the court, a room filled with inspiring Special Olympic athletes eager for another year of summer camp.
Camp SOAR is marking its 17th year giving Mecklenburg County Special Olympic athletes, an unforgettable camp experience at the Jewish Community Center.
Charlotte Catholic School Senior Alexei Strouse says, "Seeing everyone come back every year volunteering taking time out of their summer, it's a great feeling." Strouse has been volunteering for 5 years, now he is a camp leader.
He says he keeps coming back for a long list of reasons, "I love the mentality here, great atmosphere, everyone makes me happy."
Everyone, including camper Kimberly Jones. Her contagious energy is undeniable. She is a decade-long camper, marking her 11th summer this June.
Participating in everything from basketball to yoga, computer lab classes to arts and crafts, she says she can't even pinpoint her favorite part.
One thing is for sure, Jones loves the people. Jones says, "We celebrate our differences. When you celebrate your differences instead of looking down upon them, that's the true moment the Lord shines upon on us."
Nearly 400 volunteers make this camp not only possible, but also an exciting week filled with fun.
More than 300 campers get the opportunity, organizers say they otherwise wouldn't, to make lasting memories to fulfill them all year long!