HUDSON Ill. (WMBD) — Timber Pointe outdoor center in Hudson is 170 acres of campground owned by Easterseals Central Illinois.
The Center specializes in advocacy for those living with disabilities. Easterseals camps are meant to teach inclusion of everyone.
“You get a group of nine-year-olds that want to learn how to applaud in sign language for their friend who is deaf or a team that’s pushing their friend who uses a wheelchair across the finish line of a scavenger hunt so just the friendships and relationships and connections that form are changing lives and making more inclusive youth,” said camp director Lidia Gartner.
Vinny Payne has been a camper for 3 years. He enjoys zip-lining and horseback riding, and he loves going to camp. He went out of his way to include friends in his talent show act, offer prizes to teams falling behind in competitions, and is always looking for ways to get others involved.
His positive experiences at Timber Pointe have even helped him make up his mind on what his future has in store.
“I just want to be a part of what makes camp this fun and that’s why when I grow up I want to be a counselor here so I can make others happy just like this place is making me happy” said Payne.
Gartner knows that one day Vinny is hoping to take her place but she’s confident he’d be a fantastic role model.
“I think Vinny is gonna come for my job, I can totally see him being a camp counselor here, a program director, the camp director. He is Mr. Personality. I see huge things for him and it definitely involves leadership and working with people. He embodies the spirit of camp in every way shape and form.”
Easterseals will hold its run, walk, and rally Saturday in East Peoria and Bloomington.