Josh Annandappa is looking forward to attending the Lions Camp Kirk.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lion Bob Reddick
The Westport Lions Club is proud to assist a local area youth, Josh Annandappa, to attend the Lions Camp Kirk this summer.
This past school year has been a huge transition for Josh and his family, moving from a busy city to a rural environment just outside of Westport. This has meant a new home, a new school, new surroundings and new friends. This would be tough for any person but especially difficult for a young man that is on the autism spectrum with ADHD and has learning challenges.
“Josh has settled into Rideau District High School quite well this past year and is growing into a positive, and caring young man. His teacher William French says, “Josh is a good student and thought going to Camp Kirk would be a great opportunity for him.”
Camp Kirk was established in 1993 to provide a high level of support and special accommodations for young people with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, high functioning autism and incontinence/bedwetting.
Camp Kirk sits on 110 acres near the village of Kirkfield, Ontario, north-west of Peterborough. It is owned and maintained by the Lions Club Camp Kirk Foundation of District A-16. The mandate of the camp “is to serve young people who have learning disabilities by providing a safe physical, social and emotional recreational environment adhering to high standards of general camping practices.” For children with exceptionalities, a positive experience of ten days camping could have a huge impact on their quality of life in the future. Camp Kirk strives to give each camper opportunities to shine in a very nurturing, supportive and non-competitive environment. As one camper stated on a video clip, “I love it here because if you are different you feel at home. People may tease you at school, but you don’t get teased here. Everyone is different in every way. You can act yourself. You don’t need to change yourself. You are perfect the way you are.”
The motto of Camp Kirk is Empowering Kids by Building Self-esteem and offers a host of activities for the campers such as martial arts, swimming, archery, ecology, a rope course and giant swing, rock climbing, camp crafts, drama, arts and crafts, pottery, music and canoe trips.
Josh’s mother Taisie says, “Returning to Camp Kirk this year is a fabulous opportunity for Josh. The high staff to camper ratio (32 to 36) is critical to ensuring each camper’s success. With the staff’s guidance and support, Josh’s confidence and self-worth will increase, something that he needs so much this year. Josh is especially looking forward to the archery, pottery, swimming and meeting potential Yu-Gi-Oh battle players. He is also looking forward to escaping his two younger brothers for ten days!”
The Westport Lions Club is happy helping this fine, young man go to camp, and truly enjoy the summer – as every kid should!