With the help of Nike, we were able to form new bonds with our community by providing the Nike Go Flyease sneakers to the children of Camp Joy, a 7-week summer program run by the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation section (AIR) of the Greensboro Parks and Recreation. The Nike Go Flyease is the first sneaker produced by Nike that is hands-free. While we were on site to meet and present these amazing young athletes with this newest innovation, we were able to catch up with Kaitlynne Temple and Sharon Williams who lead AIR and its programming.
Tell us more about Camp Joy and what it provides for the children of the program?
Kaitlynne Temple - Camp Joy is an inclusive summer day camp for individuals of all abilities ages 5+ located at Hagan Stone Park in Pleasant Garden. It includes six outdoor cabins, activity building, art cabin and a community pool. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, music, outdoor activities, and PE games. It runs for 7 weeks in the summer by the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation section of Greensboro Parks and Recreation. Campers are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. Session 1 and 2 are designed for campers with varying abilities. Blended Mobility Week is specifically designed for persons with physical disabilities.
How does the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) program support the community on a daily basis?
Kaitlynne Temple - The AIR offices are located at the Greensboro Parks and Recreation. AIR provides recreational opportunities for individuals with varying abilities throughout the city. A few of the program offerings are adaptive golf clinics, wheelchair tennis, PGA HOPE for Veterans, community outings, bowling, chair fitness, challenger sports series and much more! www.greensboro-nc.gov/AIR
What would you both say is the most important part of Camp Joy?
Kaitlynne Temple - That’s easy……the CAMPERS! Providing a true recreational camp experience for so many campers with and without disabilities is AMAZING. It is an outdoor, safe environment with swimming each day and exceptional staff that truly love spending time with the campers. Watching the campers succeed at so many activities and learn independent skills brings joy to the entire camp.
Sharon Williams - The most important part of Camp Joy to me would be that it is designed for individuals of all abilities! This allows individuals an opportunity to participate in a traditional camp setting with a multitude of camp activities.
How would you describe the impact of Camp Joy on the campers?
Kaitlynne Temple - Camp Joy is a place where the campers come to truly enjoy outdoor recreation. They get to spend time with one another, make new friends, learn new skills and just have FUN!!!
Sharon Williams - Seeing their smiles and excitement each day exemplifies the benefit of offering Camp Joy. The participants are able to socialize, gain independence, and truly have a blast!
What was the reaction of the children who received the Nike Go Flyease sneakers?
Kaitlynne Temple - Excited…..seeing the ease of being able to put on the shoes independently was exhilarating.
Could you describe the impact the Nike Go Flyease sneakers could have for a young adaptive athlete?
Kaitlynne Temple - [The sneaker] Enables them to be independent and not have to ask for assistance. Being able to use the tongue on the back of the shoe to get your foot in makes it easy for someone with physical limitations.
Sharon Williams - By being a shoe that can be ‘slipped on’ it allows individuals with limited dexterity the ability to be independent in putting on their own shoes. Their design also is very appealing so does not draw attention to being any different.
Anything else you’d want readers to know about Camp Joy, AIR and the experience we’ve had here today?
Kaitlynne Temple - This is a great opportunity to try out a truly adaptive shoe firsthand! Creating independence for someone with any type of a disability is empowering to the individual and improving self esteem. We are very grateful for this opportunity to provide the shoes to some of our athletes and campers.