'Power Camp' held in Mundy Township - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

'Power Camp' held in Mundy Township

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(08/02/12) - Right now, more than 40 kids are having the time of their lives. They're at summer camp in Mundy Township's Camp Copneconic.

From zip lines to archery and canoes, this camp has it all and more.

It is a place where kids too often defined by one word break free from it. We're talking about the word Autism.

At this camp, that word doesn't exist.

"They have the opportunity to just be a kid and they can go back to school and say 'I was able to go to summer camp too,'" said Amy Daleo, Power Camp volunteer.

It's called "Power Camp" and it truly does have extraordinary power.

"Deep down in my heart, this is the most awesome place ever. This is the best place I've been in my entire life," said Damon Schuler, Power Camp participant.

At school, Schuler is separated from most others kids. Not here.

Though he's on the spectrum which describes a range of conditions characterized by social deficits - his peer buddy, Cameron Keys, is not.

"He's like a brother to me, even though he's not my brother, he's like a brother," Damon said.

"These kids are getting an experience to not only fit in to camp, they're here with their peer buddies who are neuro-typical children who treat them like their a best friend for a week and they don't get that experience anywhere else," Daleo said.

Daleo is also a mom. Her son Andrew just reached a huge milestone.

Andrew, once terrified by the zip line, just overcame that fear. Moments before that, another milestone - he played soccer, something he doesn't do in gym class at school.

"At Power Camp, he did it. He wasn't going to be teased, judged or made fun of," Daleo said.

For Damon, Andrew, and the more than 40 others here, summer camp is an opportunity to embrace who they are and simply be a kid.

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