The YMCA is trying out a new summer program. A camp aimed not only at having fun, but helping others, too. Sarah Goodrum is one of many students who ride horses to help with her disability. When asked what she thought about the program, she replied, "I really love it!" Now, the YMCA is helping people like Sarah with its first ever service learning camp, which 15-year-old Darrius Robinson is taking part in. "It's a life changing thing for me getting up close to a horse and stuff," said Robinson. While hob-knobbing with the horses is fun, Robinson says helping the disabled is really why he is here. "It drives me a lot, just to see the smile on these kid's faces, so I do it everyday," said Robinson. YMCA campers act as guides, and play different educational games on horse back. "We're getting very tactile here were getting messy and feeling the different textures of the horse and the shaving cream and we're doing writing with our fingers doing letters," said riding program director Kim Niggel. "All of our activities are geared for kids to have fun in a safe environment encouraging them to learn riding skills and learn a lot of tactile things and learning with numbers, letters, colors, sequencing." The Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program not only helps those with special needs build confidence and developmental skills, it also helps volunteers learn the value of giving back to the community. The YMCA summer camp costs $50 for two weeks. The service learning camp is a pilot program. Organizers hope to hold the camp again here next summer. For more information on the service learning camp call the Wilmington YMCA at 910-251-9622 extension 246.
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