Wampler Foundation Purchases New Camp to Support Kids with Physical Disabilities

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New “Camp Wamp” will expand outdoor adventure experiences to children all across United States

The Stephen J. Wampler Foundation today announced they have reached an agreement to purchase a new home for “Camp Wamp,” a unique outdoor wilderness adventure camp for children with physical disabilities. The money to purchase land, located at Deer Lake in the High Sierras near Lake Tahoe, California, was donated by an anonymous couple from Arizona. The campsite was previously home to the Girl Scouts of Northern California. The sale of the camp is expected to close in July 2017, pending final inspections.

After operating for 15 years at another Northern California site, the Wampler Foundation will spend the summer of 2017 retrofitting and renovating the newly acquired 129-acre property that hosts 13 buildings and a 34-acre lake. The camp will host its inaugural group of campers in the summer of 2018, servicing children with conditions such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida.

“Saying ‘goodbye’ is never easy, but knowing Camp Deer Lake will continue to be a magical place for children who otherwise have limited access to camp experiences eases the sadness,” said Marina Park, Chief Executive Officer at Girl Scouts of Northern California. “Once the sale is completed, we look forward to working with Camp Wamp to explore opportunities for Girl Scouts with disabilities to attend the camp, and as well as the potential for Girl Scouts to volunteer at the camp.”

Stephen Wampler, founder of the Wampler Foundation and Camp Wamp, has been afflicted by cerebral palsy since birth and uses an electric wheelchair for mobility on a daily basis; he has no use of his legs and only minimal use of one his arms. But even as a child, his disability never prevented him from fully participating in life.

“Being able to be a ‘normal kid’ and do things like camp, hike, fish and swim during the summer showed me early on it is ok to dream the way all children should,” said Wampler. “This new campsite gives us the opportunity to expand access to this important life experience to campers from all over the United States and the world, and we especially look forward to welcoming Girl Scouts in the very near future.”

The new camp is the latest endeavor for the Wampler Foundation to inspire the world. In September 2010, Steve took on what is widely considered one of the greatest challenges in rock climbing—even for an able bodied climber—and summited El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Due to his disability, Steve utilized a specially designed climbing chair and a pulley system to tackle the vertical rock face that is twice the height of the Empire State Building. With each tug on a pull up bar, Steve lifted himself two to six inches. Steve suffered greatly for six days and five nights from extreme temperatures, seizures, hallucinations, severe dehydration and periods of unconsciousness, alongside gross mental and physical fatigue. In 2013, a documentary titled, “Wampler’s Ascent,” was released detailing the climb and the incredible love story between Steve and his filmmaker wife, Elizabeth. The film has a 100 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a rating of 8.2 on IMDb.

For corporate sponsorship of the new camp or the Wampler Foundation, please contact info(at)wamplerfoundation.org. The Wampler Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3).

About The Wampler Foundation
Founded in 2000, The Wampler Foundation provides outdoor recreation programs for children with physical disabilities, such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida, at no cost to their families. To find out more about The Wampler Foundation, and to make a donation, please visit http://www.wamplerfoundation.org/.

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Andrea Vuturo
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