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Kiwanis camp receives grant from Nike employee fund

A new adaptive playground will be built to serve children and adults with disabilities


Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp has received an $18,000 grant from the Nike Employee Grant Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation to improve the camp.

Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp, 83500 Kiwanis Camp Road in Government Camp, serves children and adults with disabilities and allows them to leave their routine and experience the freedom of the outdoors.

The grant, given by the Nike Employee Grant Fund in March, will be used to create an adaptive playground where campers of all abilities can gain independence and confidence by playing.

The new playground will allow campers with disabilities to have opportunities to socialize and interact between programs in a safe environment that is adapted to all levels of disabilities.

Camp staff applied for the grant in November 2013, with the idea of a new playground already in mind.

“We have seen the benefits of inclusion and want to promote safe and fun play that is attractive and enjoyable for youth and adults of all ability levels,” said Executive Director Kaleen Deatherage. “While we have a large adventure course with several facilitated low and high elements, up to now we have lacked a play area where campers, youth and other groups can play independently. The new adaptive playground will meet this need.”

The new accessible play structure will incorporate a bouldering wall, adult-size enclosed swings and wheelchair accessible monkey bars.

“Our goal is to empower children with disabilities, build confidence through independence, focus on play through equal peer participation, and provide an exciting outdoor play experience to be utilized by all campers regardless of their ability,” said Skye Burns, the camp’s development director.

“It means a great deal to us to have a well-respected company like Nike and its employees invest in our camp,” Deatherage said. “It shows us that the work we are doing with people who have disabilities is making a difference and that the innovative new strategies and programs that we seek to offer are of interest to the community.”

The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. The foundation works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. It awards more than $60 million a year in grants and scholarships.