Rutherford Weekly

July 14, 2022

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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When Jonathan Keeter showed up at Camp Harmony's summer camp for Special Needs children and youth recently he was beyond thrilled. He expressed his excitement to Camp Harmony Director Nikki Brock, "It's great to be back," he told her. She echoed his sentiments. "Yes, it's great to be back," Nikki said. The one week June camp was the fi rst in two years for Camp Harmony due to COVID-19. There was no lack of excitement among campers, volunteers and staffers. The camp marked the 52nd anniversary of Camp Harmony that was begun by the late Virginia Rucker, Janice Paris and Peggy Blair and became a highlight for campers and volunteers for over fi ve decades. Through the years the lives of both campers and volunteers were changed and every year camp was such a joy and something to look forward to when school was not in session. The traditional two weeks long camp had to be reduced to one week this year due to the Rutherford County Schools summer school program that involved some of the campers and volunteers. Camp Harmony partnered this summer with the Rutherford County Schools (RCS). Nikki was able to partner with RCS Exceptional Children Director Dr. Tammie Ashe in planning, working and providing the best camp for the children. "She helped so much," said Nikki. We were able to use school buses for transportation to camp every day." Because of the partnership, Nikki said "even the special needs children in self-contained school classrooms were able to come with their teachers to camp." Even those in wheelchairs came with their classes. Summer school teachers came to camp with them but because of the work of volunteers, many days the teachers had an opportunity to relax and watch their students as others worked with them. Campers arrived each morning Monday-Friday at the Forest City Recreation Center where children were allowed to swim and have other activities. After swimming in the Forest City pool each day, the campers had a snack and then took a fi eld trip each day, transported by Rutherford County Public Schools. Following the fi eld trip, they were transported to Forest City Dunbar for lunch. Field trips included a movie day with popcorn hosted by Florence Baptist Church, a skating party, bowling at Autumn Lanes and a trip to KidSenses Children's museum in Rutherfordton. "The last day of camp was especially fun as campers not only had an opportunity to swim, they also had a dance party at the recreation center, treats from Serendipity and McDonalds provided lunch on the last day. "Thanks to Macey Strickland Butler and Haley Waldrop from Dreamweaver's dance studio for giving us a dance party," Nikki said. "And the campers also enjoyed happy meals from McDonald's for lunch." Veteran campers were so excited to be back and our new campers were just as excited. So thankful for our volunteers and teachers," said Nikki. Many of the campers that have placed out of the program actually came back as volunteers, Nikki said. She is hoping everything works for a two week camp next summer. "It was a great week - the 52nd anniversary year," Nikki added. ISSUE NO. 28 • July 14, 2022 ISSUE NO. 28 • July 14, 2022 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 Our 30 th Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers BRING YOUR VEHICLE BY FOR US TO LOOK AT! NO APPRAISAL FEE CHARGED! TOP DOLLAR PAID! PAID! YOUR VEHICLE VEHICLE We Want to Buy We Want to Buy 345 South Broadway, Forest City 828-245-8067 M O O RE ' S AUTO S ALES ©communityfi rstmedia 135 West Main Street, Spindale, NC 28160 828-395-2140 New Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11am-9pm Sunday: 11am-3pm DINE IN • CARRY OUT • CATERING Food truck catering available Food truck catering available ©Community First Media Community First Media SUNDAY DINNER SUNDAY DINNER SPECIAL SPECIAL Meat, 2 Vegetables So good to be back together again, So good to be back together again, Camp Harmony returns Camp Harmony returns Article by Jean Gordon. IN GOD WE TRUST! IN GOD WE TRUST! Movie day and popcorn at Florence. So this is how we roll. Camper and volunteer ready to bowl. Skating was available for everyone. Videos from the seat of a motorcycle. Pool sharks at the bowling alley.

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