Brian Scott, Denton County Reporter
Some University of North Texas students are spending their spring break volunteering through the school's alternative spring break program.
Some University of North Texas students are spending their spring break volunteering close to home.
About 160 UNT students are participating in alternative spring break – a program where students fund their way to various locations so they can spend their time away from school helping others.
“Camp Rock!” at Camp Summit in Argyle is seeing quite a few UNT student volunteers this spring break.
"We are a camp for children and adults with disabilities,” said Camp Summit CEO Carla Weiland. “So regardless of what the disability is we simply adapt all of our activities to fit the needs of our campers"
UNT student Amy Simon and about a dozen volunteer counselors are at Camp Summit for the week.
"Hopefully this leads to more volunteering and this isn't just a one week deal," said Simon, who is volunteering as a camp counselor.
The UNT volunteers arrived on Sunday and will stay through Friday helping the campers enjoy their week off and participate in activities many of them otherwise couldn’t manage.
"There's folks in charge of arts and crafts, and nature, sports, and then there are folks that are acting as camp counselors and working one on one with campers,” said Simon.
On Monday afternoon the trip took UNT sophomore Nina Laurenzo and senior Laura Corbet into the field to fly kites and play parachute with their campers; some of whom sat in wheelchairs or even required oxygen tanks. They say despite the disabilities the campers will have the chance to play sports, run rope courses and even zip line in their week at camp.
"You have all these ideas about what special needs people can and can't do and they can do anything with just a little bit of support,” said Laurenzo. “It's really great the things they can do here."
The camp which opened in 1947 offers sessions nearly year-round to folks of all ages. They say some of their campers continue to come back year after year and look forward to it as a chance to really be a part of something.
Weiland says they couldn’t do it without the volunteer support.
"We get a lot of support from UNT and we love that, we love being this close to them and having that ability to partner with them and work so well with them," Weiland said.
The Center for Leadership and Service at UNT sponsors the annual alternative spring break. The year volunteers are at 17 different locations, assigned to projects that include working with animal shelters, helping the homeless, and cleaning up after natural disasters. Click here for a complete list of UNT’s alternative spring break locations.