Buddy Camp - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Buddy Camp

Posted: Updated:

It's not your typical summer camp where kids spend the majority of time with other kids their age, but with older peers who are more like mentors. These campers leave with a strong friendship and an understanding for what it means to accept someone for who they are. News Channel 5's Natalie North reports on this special summer camp.

10 year old Morgan Villard has been going to buddy camp now for 3 years. This year, she is excited to spend her time with her new buddy - Annie David. For Morgan, buddy camp at the first united Methodist church is a week she looks forward to every year.

"We get to play together and have fun."-Morgan Villard

17 year old Annie is Morgan's buddy. She's been a counselor here at buddy camp for 5 years now. But it's her special bond with her buddy - Morgan - that teaches her what it means to be mentor.

"I learn to respect, love, and care a lot for people, especially my buddy."-Annie David

For the past 13 years, buddy camp has been giving kids like Morgan, an opportunity to build a strong friendship with a peer like Annie.

"Buddy camp is a day camp program that is specifically designed to bring together children who have developmental special needs, together with their typically developing peers."-Stacey Debevec, camp director

Buddy camp director Stacey Debevec, says that the camp is beneficial not just for those with special needs, but for the peers who volunteer their time - and take away valuable lessons.

"I think it's more about acceptance and developing compassion, and learning how more alike we are than we are different."-Stacey Debevec

"It teaches me to think about others more than myself."-Annie David

Morgan and Annie are just one of 80 buddy pairs this year - which learned that everybody has different abilities and disabilities - and that's what makes us special.

"It's just a great experience and I enjoy doing it."-Annie David

"Well I just love her."-Morgan Villard

Buddy camp has become so popular over the years, that this year, there will be a second week-long session in July. It's too late to sign up this year, but don't worry, the camp will continue to its 14th year next summer.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • MH17 family living in 'hell beyond hell' after losing three kids

    MH17 family living in 'hell beyond hell' after losing three kids

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:23:40 GMT
    Siblings Evie, Mo and Otis Maslin died when the Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday. (Courtesy of Maslin Family)Siblings Evie, Mo and Otis Maslin died when the Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday. (Courtesy of Maslin Family)
    (NBC News) Parents who lost three young children and their grandfather when Flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Putin rebels revealed that they now "live in a hell beyond hell." More >>
    (NBC News) Parents who lost three young children and their grandfather when Flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Putin rebels revealed that they now "live in a hell beyond hell." 
    More >>
  • APD: Weapons/Narcotics arrest

    APD: Weapons/Narcotics arrest

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:27:53 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- On July 22, 2014, at 1:00 AM, APD Officers were dispatched to the 700 Block of Everett Street in reference to an assault with a firearm.More >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- On July 22, 2014, at 1:00 AM, APD Officers were dispatched to the 700 Block of Everett Street in reference to an assault with a firearm.More >>
  • Tennessee man accused of threatening to kill Obama

    Tennessee man accused of threatening to kill Obama

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-07-23 18:52:07 GMT
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A man left profanity-filled voicemails with Tennessee's homeland security office threatening to kill President Barack Obama and other officials, saying in one that he would "light Nashville up," according to court documents.More >>
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A man left profanity-filled voicemails with Tennessee's homeland security office threatening to kill President Barack Obama and other officials, saying in one that he would "light Nashville up," according to court documents.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.