For Jason Hamilton, the site of Kingdom Ranch's first campers was a dream come true. Hamilton and his wife purchased land in Snook last March with the dream of opening the state's first Christian camp specifically for children with special needs. Monday, 15 campers arrived.
"The age group between seven and 17, there's over 700,000 kids with disabilities, so the population is there," said Hamilton.
All of the campers have special needs, ranging from autism to Down Syndrome. There is a one to one camper to counselor ratio, serving as a counselor is no easy task.
"One of our campers was probably up six or seven times in the night so the volunteer was up six or seven times with the camper," said Hamilton.
"One of the main girls I have been working with just likes to throw fits and doesn't want to do what you want her to do all the time, it's challenging," said Kendra Kornegay, counselor.
Kornegay is a student at A&M. She says it's her own situation, that led her to Kingdom Ranch.
"I have a passion for kids that have special needs as I have a sister who has some and it has been my passion my whole life," said Kornegay.
But even with all the hard work, saying good bye at the end of the week will be the most difficult part for everyone.
"We'll see some good friendships bond by the end of the week and it's usually a real emotional day when everyone heads home," said Hamilton.
But at least for this week, kids will get a chance to be kids, regardless of their disability.
For more information on Kingdom Ranch or to volunteer, visit www.kingdomranch.org.
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