Special Summer Camp for Special Needs Children Ends With a Celebration

St. Mary’s Kids Host a Day of Entertainment to Commemorate the End of a Summer Camp That Promoted Confidence and Helped Build Friendships

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s staff and patient families were lining up for autographs after witnessing the incredible performances from some of New York’s most seriously ill and injured children battling complex medical conditions.

Young patients of St. Mary’s hosted a summer celebration to commemorate the end of a special summer camp that promoted confidence and independence and helped to create long-lasting friendships.

The talented campers performed dances and skits to the tunes of some of their favorite musical artists, such as the late Michael Jackson, Beyonce, and Mariah Carey. There was even a little Bollywood fever thrown in the mix.

One group presented a play based on the great teachings of the historic Malcolm X and his life. The audience was chilled by an awing performance of “Sleepover Gone Wrong II,” a skit about 4 young girls being tormented by a prank caller. Staff members were brought to tears by the humorous reenactment of “Cat in the Hat.” The youngest members of the camp brought a little sunshine in as they wore their most energetic smiles and bright yellow outfits, and in the loudest voice they could find, sang, “My Little Sunshine.” The room became quiet and peaceful as Michael Jackson’s, “We are the World,” filled the air.

Over 40 children participated in St. Mary’s Pediatric Day Healthcare Program and Summer Camp designed for children 5-18 years of age and young adults from 18-25 years of age who have cognitive and physical disabilities. Young campers were involved in therapeutic, rehabilitative, and recreational activities such as coordinating and participating in talent shows, musicals, plays, and field trips, all uniquely designed to help children with special healthcare needs develop every capability to his or her fullest.

Staff and patient families of the bayside hospital joined a packed audience and were left in awe at the courage and motivation each child displayed as they made their way to center stage. At the end, all campers received a trophy for their hard work and dedication.

The day’s activities culminated in a teary-eyed goodbye for both counselors and campers who have all become a close-knit family.

Although camp is over, the skills learned and the friendships created, will last forever.