Indian Trails Camp is known for providing individuals with disabilities an enriched life through recreation, advocacy and meaningful relationships. Unfortunately, when rain falls at Indian Trails Camp, the spirits of campers fall as well.
A $100,000 grant from Grand Rapids Community Foundation will help Indian Trails Camp build the new Kate Pew Wolters Center. The building is named for Kate Pew Wolters, former Indian Trails camper and disability advocate.
“Indian Trails Camp has changed the lives of children and adults with disabilities, as well as their families,” Kate Pew Wolters said, “Through creating long-lasting friendships or providing respite for couples and families, Indian Trails Camp has at one time or another meant so much to many of us in the community.”
“Grand Rapids Community Foundation has a long history of supporting Indian Trails Camp,” said Grand Rapids Community Foundation Program Officer Kate Luckert Schmid. “Since 1953, 57 grants valued at $952,319 have been made to Indian Trails Camp.”
The Kate Pew Wolters Center will be completed in November 2015 and will provide recreational, social, vocational and therapeutic services for children and adults with disabilities. The Center will allow Indian Trails Camp to serve an additional 1,000 campers and community members per year.
“It’s true, we get stuck indoors on rainy days like today,” said Ryan Oosterheert, longtime Indian Trails camper, “I’ll be very excited for no more rainy days at camp.”
The Center will meet the growing needs of the entire community. It will act as a community center, providing multiple groups and agencies opportunities for partnership and collaboration.
Organizations that plan to utilize the Center include Special Olympics, Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind, MOKA, Grand Rapids Ballet & Symphony and many more.
“Grand Rapids Community Foundation values collaboration among community partners to address needs,” Luckert Schmid said, “The creation of Kate Pew Wolters Center demonstrates Indian Trails Camp’s dedication to meeting the needs of many organizations and individuals in our community.”
The Kate Pew Wolters Center will feature a gymnasium, life skills center, sensory room and performing arts theater.
The life skills area of the center will serve as a training base for year-round programs to help individuals with disabilities increase their independence and employability.
“One of the biggest barriers for adults with disabilities is underemployment,” said Indian Trails Camp Executive Director Tim Hileman, “With the life skills area, we will be able to provide individuals with job training and education, along with opportunities for employment in the Center.”
The sensory room at Kate Pew Wolters Center will give the Grand Valley State University Occupational Therapy graduate program a space for students to conduct fieldwork with individuals with sensory processing disorders.