Here is the Easterseals NH Camp Sno-Mo Update Summer 2022 for NHSA clubs. After going virtual last summer due to COVID-19 campers ages 11 to 21 have returned in person this year to enjoy another unforgettable Camp Sno-Mo experience. With health and safety guidelines securely in place Easterseals NH’s camp program successfully reopened this year with nine weeks of summer sessions beginning at the end of June and running through the end of August.
Easterseals NH Camp Sno-Mo Reopens
Easterseals NH has spent over thirty years providing campers with traditional summer activities that are often inaccessible for children and young adults with disabilities.
Campers have been so enthusiastic about returning to Camp Sno-Mo this year that each week has sold out at full capacity, including the final week offered to young adults 22 years and older.
Archery, horseback riding, water sports, and campfire sing-alongs are just a few of the activities at Camp Sno-Mo that campers look forward to each year. But there is one experience that everyone at camp gets especially excited about, the Merit Badge Ceremony held each Friday.
Self-Empowerment and Confidence-Building Skills
These weekly awards are about so much more than celebrating a camper’s accomplishments. At Camp Sno-Mo, they are an uplifting reminder of the self-empowerment and confidence-building skills that campers cultivate weekly with the support of their counselors.
As each camper receives their certificate the room erupts in applause and cheers. Jacob has officially been deemed the ultimate Chess Master, a title he is very proud to receive. Lily was honored for her canoeing skills. Alex was celebrated for being a woodworking champ. And Hope took home camp gold with merit badges in art, basketry, and cooking.
While Hope is undoubtedly happy about the merit badges she earned, she is equally thrilled to have made a lasting friendship this summer. As she stands next to her new friend Lily, Hope explains how the two became close. “The first day we met was on Sunday, and we played together,” Hope shares. “It makes me happy to be with Lily, and she’s a good friend to me. She is so nice, and we have fun together.”
Besides hanging out with her new best friend, Hope’s favorite thing to do at Camp Sno-Mo is archery, an activity just about every other camper looks forward to. They are not the only ones who cherish their time at the range. Charlie, an archery and shooting arts instructor, loves when he gets to witness a camper realizing just how much they are capable of.
“When they’re hitting the target, their eyes light up,” Charlie says. “They get so excited.”
New Experiences for Children Living with Disabilities
Traditional camp activities can often be brand-new experiences for children living with disabilities, which is why Camp Sno-Mo staffers are dedicated to a single mission, uplifting and supporting every camper as they try something new and helping them feel safe to take those risks.
“These kids can do anything they want if they try hard for it,” says Hugo, a staffer at Camp Sno-Mo who traveled from Brazil to work this summer with Easterseals NH. “Camp is definitely a life-changing experience for those who come and those who have the opportunity to work here.”
Hugo fell in love with Camp Sno-Mo in 2019 when he first traveled to America to work here.
Due to the pandemic and the cancelation of in-person summer sessions, Hugo has waited several years to return to his favorite summer spot. And now that he is here, he cannot imagine working anywhere else.
“You start to learn a lot here,” Hugo says. “Sometimes, campers are back home in programs where they do not have the chance to show what they have to offer. Here, we are like, ‘You can do it! Let’s try!’ They discover things they have never done before. I had a camper in 2019, and he liked the ropes course that we had. He earned a merit badge, and at the end of the week, he got an offer from the Scouts to apply for work here. For him it was groundbreaking.”
Camp Sno-Mo NH is Very Rewarding
First-time camp staff member Anthony seems to agree wholeheartedly with Hugo. Standing beside camper Alex at the archery range, he shares why he loves his job at Camp Sno-Mo. “It’s very rewarding,” Anthony says. “You will have a camper who does not think they can do certain things, and then once they are able to, they have that moment of thinking, ‘I can do this!’ It is just awesome.”
Easterseals NH Camp Sno-Mo Update Summer 2022
As this year’s camp season wraps up, Camp Director Chris Ellis reflects on the generosity and dedication that helps set Camp Sno-Mo apart from other summer programs. “We are so grateful to be back up and running this year,” Chris says. “Seeing every week fill up so quickly has given our campers and staff so much hope and joy.
We appreciate the generous donors and sponsors like the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association, who make Camp Sno-Mo possible year after year. As we gear up for next year, we are excited to keep growing as a summer program that continues to give our campers the opportunities they deserve to thrive.”
Congratulations to the staff, volunteers, supporters, and campers who have helped to make this summer at Camp Sno-Mo the best one yet!