Camp K was featured on Good Things Utah, on 11/24/2015. Mircea spoke about Camp K, introduced Camp K’s Team, and Scott Helmer performed a song for the upcoming concerts.
Click on the story below to view the TV news video.
Listen to the interview by Dick Jacobson, of KSOP Radio below
Dick Jacobson, of KSOP Radio – Cross Country, interviewed Mircea Divricean, President and CEO of Camp K.
Mircea talked to Dick about the mission and vision of Camp K. For nearly 50 years, the mission of Camp K has stayed the same – to improve lives through education, recreation, and growth opportunities. However, over the years, Camp K’s programs and facilities have grown and expanded.
Mircea continued mentioning that during 2015, many prominent VIP guests, from all over the country, have visited Camp K. They have seen the unique, beautiful setting that is Camp K. Our community is fortunate to have Camp K in their back yard. Camp K is a charity – and our community is the stakeholders. We appreciate the generosity of this community, and how they have embraced Camp K throughout the years.
Mircea told Dick that he can’t praise Camp K’s staff enough for working, dedicating their time, and doing so much for those who need their support. The staff become role models. They work day in and day out to provide amazing opportunities for those people. When you go to Camp K, and want to experience something new as a staff member, it will probably be the hardest job you have ever done. However, it will be the most rewarding experience in your lifetime. Recently, we had one of our previous counselors return for a tour of Camp K. He told how his experiences changed his life – he is now the head coach at Southern Utah University.
Camp K has an exciting opportunity coming up in December – possibly the most exciting thing to happen to Camp K in 50 years.
Performing artist, Scott Helmer, visited Camp K for the first time in 2014. He was deeply touched by the impact that Camp K makes. On December 1, 2015, Scott Helmer and Camp K will break the Guinness World Records title for the most live concerts in 24 hours. The tour will begin in California, and will end in Salt Lake City. The purpose of the tour is to raise awareness for people with disabilities around the world.
For more information about Camp K, or the Guinness World Records attempt, please visit www.campk.org
As summer camp 2015 came to an end, I would like to reflect on what we have accomplished here at the camp this season. Although this has been my 18th summer camp season here at Camp K, it has been only my second summer as President and CEO. When I started working here at the camp as a counselor in 1998, Camp K was serving about 30 campers per week for a total of 400 campers per season. That number stayed the same until 2010. From 2010 to 2013, we served about 50 campers per day and a total of 500 campers per season. Under my leadership, we were able to serve close to 700 campers in 2014. This summer, we served a record number of campers: more than 100 campers per day, totaling more than 1,000 campers for the season. This is double from what we were able to serve in the past. I would love to be able to say that, even with the record numbers served this season, we had no waiting list this summer; unfortunately we still had a long waiting list this season. My goal is to eventually be able to erase the waiting list and serve all the campers who would like to take advantage of our services.
What else we accomplish this season? Every year we are fortunate to hire some of the most amazing staff to help us deliver our programs. This year, I would venture to say that we had an amazing crew who cared, dedicated themselves, worked hard, and loved our campers. They were amazing role models, and I can’t THANK them enough for their passion, dedication, and commitment to delivering the highest quality programs possible, in a very safe environment.
Camp K is a very complex operation; in order to deliver our services, we have to hire and train lifeguards, registered nurses, certified recreation therapists, cooks, equestrian instructors, challenge ropes course facilitators, small water craft guides, facilities and grounds keeping support, cleaning and custodian support, professional drivers, administration, accounting, human resources, IT support, counselors, group leaders, trip camp guides, coordinators, managers, and the list goes on. In other words, Camp K is an all in one facility: a medical facility, cooking facility, swimming pool facility, equestrian facility, challenge ropes course facility, lodging and hotel facilities, outdoor facilities that include a fishing pond, playground, pavilions, picnic field, trails, accessible transportation services, and the list goes on. All of these put together is Camp K.
Camp K is an ecosystem of love and support for greatness. We truly believe that all individuals are unique, and everyone can achieve amazing things in life, given positive support along the way!
We firmly believe to go big and bold for greatness here at Camp K! We have so many role models to look up every day, both campers and staff. We learn every day from their outlook on life, in the way they look at their own challenges. That motivates us to dedicate ourselves and work harder.
After we added up all our evaluations and outcome reviews, we have learned that over 70% of our summer campers achieved their goals they set up during their attendance of summer camp, and 85% of horseback riding participants reached their goals. We also learned that 100% of parents/guardians state that when their child attends Camp K, they have shown improvement in their independence, self-esteem, and interaction with family and peers. Parents are able to see that their children are able to do things more independently, and help out with tasks and chores around the house. Many parents have shared that their child has become more active and physically stronger due to activities at Camp K. Several families have also stated that their participant has become much more verbal. After attending Camp K programs, the participants often exhibit improved communication during family interactions with immediate and extended family. The participants are able to display appropriate social skills in large group settings, and not request full attention from family members. We have also learned that over 70% of our participants improve in their social abilities and 100% of participants improve in their physical abilities.
Our campers represent all ages and all abilities; they come from difference socio-economic backgrounds and geographical areas. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and special needs through education, recreation and growth experiences that promote personal growth and foster independence. Every year we look at ways to improve our facilities, programs and the way we deliver our programs in order to have the best possible outcomes.
This summer we also received the most “Thank You” letters in a long time from parents and campers. One note from Chris and George (parents) and Valerie (grandma) said “After all these years of providing wonderful adventures for my son August, it’s about time to say THANK YOU with and from the bottom of my heart. The Yellow Stone trip sounded so wonderful! Feeding carrots to bears and rafting – doesn’t get much better than that. We Love You!”
One other note came from Carol: “Thank you one more time for heart felt commitment to all the people you serve at Camp K. The camp staff was among the best staff I have ever met at camp. There was a wonderful blend of happiness, confidence, professionalism, and blending the diverse personalities of the campers.”
Nicole has been coming to Camp K a several years now. She lives in UK. Her mother, Vanessa, after seeing how much benefit Nicole has gained from Camp K, is now starting a foundation in UK to help others come to Camp K and let them benefit too. Vanessa said “You do such a great job. You have given me every reason why I should be doing this new charity. Nicole has been so lucky to have been given the chance to come to you and I want to give other kids the same opportunity – it will take them into adulthood a more independent self-confident person – what more could I ask?”
This summer we built new partnerships, with Natural History Museum of Utah, Tanner Dance, Bad Dog Arts, Red Butte Gardens, and U of U Youth Programs and Muscular Dystrophy Association – all to further our commitment to help and make our services and facilities available to more and more people. Our partner camps offered opportunities for children without disabilities to experience Camp K, and to interact with children with disabilities. These partner camps had a major impact on the children who participated. One parent said that, because her son’s interaction with campers with disabilities during the week at Camp K, he has learned to better interact and communicate with his disabled brother at home. We look forward to continuing those partnerships and building new partnerships for next summer. We look forward to an amazing 2016 Summer Camp Season!
This summer, we were also visited by the CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Association, the CEO of American Camp Association, CEO of United Way, and several other community leaders. We thank them all for their visits!
This brings me to what’s new and exciting coming up at Camp K: on December 1st, #GivingTuesday, we will break the Guinness World Records Title for Most Live Concerts in 24 Hours. We would love for all of you to join Scott Helmer and Camp K, to help raise awareness for people with disabilities all over the world! ABC 4 Utah and Don Hudson are partnering with us on this endeavor, and we THANK both Scott and Don for their support in raising awareness for people with disabilities and special needs. Don Hudson and ABC4 have produced several stories so far that highlight different disabilities served here at Camp K. These are all amazing campers participating at Camp K. Please watch their stories here:
We want to thank our Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox, for visiting with us while veterans were riding horses here at Camp K. We also would like to thank the following people for visiting with us, and showing their support: Lane Beattie, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber; Sean Reyes, our Attorney General; and Peter Corroon, former Salt Lake County Mayor and current Utah Democratic Party Chair. Don is working on a video which captures the support of our community leaders for Camp K, and our endeavor to help raise awareness for people with disabilities. This video is a work in progress, and we would like to give you a sneak peek – Watch video here.
Independent touring and recording artist, Scott Helmer, plans to break the Guinness World Records title for Most Live Concerts in 24 hours on December 1, 2015 – a date that coincides with #GivingTuesday. His goal is to raise $1 Million for Kostopulos Dream Foundation, home of Camp K. All money will be used exclusively by Camp K to improve facilities, ensuring that Camp K can continue to provide high quality service in a safe environment for people with disabilities and special needs. Additionally, Scott and Camp K will raise awareness about the unique needs, challenges, and abilities of people with disabilities throughout the world.
Camp K is near and dear to Scott’s heart. He first visited Camp K in 2014, and was impressed by the Camp K’s mission, setting, staff, and campers. Scott shares a message of hope and of overcoming challenges. His message goes hand-in-hand with Camp K’s message, where people with disabilities and special needs are encouraged to overcome their challenges and accomplish things that they never before believed possible. At Camp K, everyone CAN!
Here is how this event will work:
Scott’s full Press Release can be viewed here.
Camp K would like to thank Red Rock Brewery for sponsoring our VIP Concert on May 29, 2015. They provided a wonderful dinner and drinks, which helped make the event amazing!
We would like to thank Scott Helmer, and our sponsors for helping us make this a memorable event! We would also like to thank Craig Paller for the sound system, Cactus & Tropicals for the flowers, and Aimee McConkie of Milcreek Venture Out for the stage.
Enjoy some videos of Scott’s performance during the Concert in the Canyon. Scott was a hit with the kids, and gained some back-up dancers during his performance.
Enjoy the Videos below from the VIP Concert with Scott Helmer, on May 29, 2015.
On Saturday, Camp K hosted our annual Family Fun Day and Concert in the Canyon. More than 400 people spent the day at Camp K, enjoying everything that Camp K has to offer, including horseback riding, ropes course, swimming, fishing, and field games, plus a BBQ, face painting, and bounce house for the kids. Scott Helmer also performed – which was especially a hit with the kids, as they danced on and around the stage.
Photos from this event can be viewed here
We would like to thank Scott Helmer, our amazing staff, and our sponsors for helping us make this a wonderful day for everyone! We would also like to thank Jazz Bear, Lil’ Bear, and Dustin Kasai and the Heroes of Kids Heroes Foundation for adding their magic to the day.
On Friday night, Camp K hosted a VIP Dinner and Concert. About 100 people joined us for an evening of great food, music, and fun!
Red Rock Brewery provided a wonderful dinner and drinks, and Scott Helmer delivered an amazing concert – he had everyone on their feet dancing!
Photos can be viewed here:
We would like to thank Red Rock Brewery, Scott Helmer, and our sponsors for helping us make this a memorable event! We would also like to thank Craig Paller for the sound system, Cactus & Tropicals for the flowers, and Aimee McConkie of Milcreek Venture Out for the stage.
Utah Jazz Lil’ Bear joined Scott Helmer on stage during Camp K’s Family Fun Day and Concert in the Canyon on May 30, 2015.
Thank you, Channel 4 and Don Hudson! Camp K and Scott Helmer are in the news!
Come spend the afternoon with Camp K on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Bring your family and friends to see and experience the fun and exciting activities that Camp K has to offer! This event officially kicks off our Summer Camp Season. Enjoy a sneak peak into the fun and exciting activities that our Campers enjoy throughout the summer.
Cost is $15 per person, or $50 per family (immediate family only). This includes Activities, BBQ, and Concert with entertainer Scott Helmer. For more information, and registration form: http://www.campk.org/family-fun-day
From 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, activities including field games, face painting, bounce house, swimming, ropes course, climbing wall, horseback riding and more will be open to everyone. Also, a BBQ lunch will be provided during this time.
From 3:00 – 5:00, Scott Helmer will be performing his amazing music. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs to kick back and enjoy his performance. You can read more about Scott and his fundraising efforts in this week’s article in the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Kostopulos Dream Foundation has gone through many changes and additions in the past forty years; however, our mission statement still reflects the original vision of the founding members. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through education, recreation and growth opportunities. Our goal is to make our services available to all people, regardless of ability level, gender, sexual persuasion, ethnic background, income, or place of residence. With the continued support of the community and donors, we will keep the original dream alive. Together We Dream, Together We Do!
On May 1st, we hosted our Annual “Send a Kid to Camp” Gala, and it was a tremendous success! Thanks to all of our staff, Board of Directors, sponsors, and community for supporting this event. This was the best Gala we have had – and we couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you!
Congratulations to the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, the 2015 recipient of Camp K’s Children’s Humanitarian Award. We are very grateful for the support that they have provided to Camp K, and to our entire community.
This year, Camp K started a new tradition. Every year we will choose an Ambassador who will represent our agency. This year, our Ambassador is Celina. She has Cerebral Palsy, and has been coming to Camp K for several years. Her mom told us that Camp K has given Celina a rewarding environment in which to grow, and has helped her find herself. Celina said, “When I come to Camp, I feel like I have no wheelchair.” You can watch her speech, as well as the other speakers here.
We are looking forward to Summer Camp, which starts on June 1st. Training for our new summer staff started this week. Counselors from all over the country joined us to put together the best summer camp experience our campers enjoyed so far. We look forward to welcoming our campers for another awesome summer.
Over the years, we have had a lot of amazing staff who worked at Camp K. I cannot say enough about all the staff who have worked so hard since the beginning of this camp. They come to work each day with a desire to make a difference in someone’s life.
Camp K would not be what it is today without all the volunteers that have given uncounted hours of service to our agency. After volunteering with our participants, they go away with a new outlook on life. They learn to accept people, regardless of their differences and, to their surprise, actually find that they have learned more from our participants than anything else. All of our volunteers learn that service to others brings balance in all of our lives.
Since the beginning of camp, many Board Members have been the stewards and supporters of Camp K. They deserve to be applauded for their work. They contribute their time, financial means, resources, and expertise. In addition to these volunteers, thanks go out to our friends, family, business partners, other partner agencies, and all those who have given in so many ways to support and make possible each growing, successful year at Camp K.
During my tenure with KDF, I have seen firsthand the impact that our services have on both the population we serve and their respective families. When appointed as the President and CEO, I said “it is my commitment to make our services available to new populations in an effort to provide them with experiences developed to enhance their lives. My personal goal is to create a nonprofit organization that is best in class, and one that provides a benchmark to other nonprofit organizations that serve the special needs population. My personal aspiration is that other organizations will pay it forward, further develop a successful nonprofit model, and share their learnings, so that together we continue to serve our communities around the world.”
I am proud to say that this year, we will host two weeks of camp for children with Muscular Dystrophy, in partnership with Muscular Dystrophy Association. We will are also provide seven weeks of Partner Day Camp for children without disabilities. Part of our mission is to provide education about people with disabilities and special needs to the general population. Our partner camps will do just that. Our campers with disabilities now have the opportunity to share camp with their non-disabled siblings. We feel really good about this new opportunity for parents who have children with and without disabilities to be able to bring their children to the same camp.
Kids without disabilities who attend our partner camps will be sharing our facilities with our campers who have cognitive and physical disabilities. They will learn that people with disabilities are just like them – they just have different challenges and abilities! Everyone loves to have fun, learn, and play!
We have partnered with many great organizations to provide a 2-in-1 camping experience for kids in elementary school, without special needs. We believe in inclusion, and want all members of the community to have the opportunity to come to Camp K! At our partner camps, the kids spend half their time at the community partner’s facility (art schools, museums, gardens, universities, and more), and half their time at Camp K participating in outdoor learning adventures and nature education. We switch sites in the middle of the day so that the campers can get the best of both worlds! Our partners for this summer are Natural History Museum, Red Butte Gardens, Tanner Dance, University of Utah Youth Education and Bad Dog Arts.
We have some great events coming up. First is a VIP Dinner and Concert with Scott Helmer on May 29th. For a limited time only, we are running a special promotion where you can get 2 tickets for the price of 1!Dinner and Social hour begins at 5:30 pm, and will be provided by Red Rock Brewery. Beer, wine, soda, and water are included. To purchase tickets: www.campk.org/concert
On May 30, we will host our Annual Family Fun Day and Concert in the Canyon. Bring your families to participate in the activities that Camp K offers. Scott Helmer is coming to Camp K again this year, as a part of his “Support Your Cause” Tour, where he is helping charities raise $1 million. More information is available on our website, at www.campk.org/family-fun-day
“Together we dream, together we do.”
President and CEO
Summer is always our busiest time of year, and this year is no different. As we approach the mid-way point for summer camp, we have many great stories to share including Rusty’s, who you’ll hear from in this newsletter
The success of our camps rely so heavily on our staff and I’d like to acknowledge and thank them for all their efforts. I’d also like to take a moment to thank our supporters that came to Family Fun Day and stayed for our Concert in the Canyon with Scott Helmer, the Intermountain Porsche Club who included Camp K as part of their 5th annual Amazing Rally, executives that joined us at Camp K for the Salt Lake Chamber Business After Hours in May, the 36 bicyclists from Push America who stopped by for a tour (see picture below), and all those who came out for our 14th annual Camp K Classic golf tournament.
Finally, I’d like to restate our vision at Camp K: To ensure that individuals with physical and cognitive challenges achieve full participation in their communities by focusing on their abilities and through the development, implementation, and dissemination of innovative life-long educational strategies.
National touring and recording artist, Scott Helmer, is working to help charities across the U.S raise $1 million for their respective causes. He played at Camp K on May 31.
We appreciate Scott for including us on his tour. We had a wonderful time at his concert.
For more information about Scott Helmer, please visit his website: www.scotthelmer.com