Summer camp helps kids, young adults with brain injuries - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Summer camp helps kids, young adults with brain injuries

If it weren't for the scars on his head, you probably couldn't tell Jacob Vincent is recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

"I was in a dune buggie with my friend. He was driving towards the rocks and he flipped over," Vincent said. "I broke my jaw in two places, I broke my collar bone, I cracked my skull in two places. My brain rotated, and I had a seizure and I was in a coma for a week and a half."

Vincent said recovery was difficult, but with the help of Camp TBI, he was able to rebuild his confidence. TBI is an acronym commonly known for Traumatic Brain Injury, but to these campers, it stands for "to be independent." The week-long summer camp is an opportunity for kids and young adults with brain injuries to be themselves; free from peers judging them for their disabilities.

"It feels good, knowing that you're like ordinary people fitting in," Vincent said. "At school I kind of feel like an outcast, but here it makes me feel like an ordinary person."

 "I just like seeing everybody and seeing old faces and people I know, and doing all the fun activities with them," said Tyler Shelton. This is his fifth year at the camp.

Campers participate in activities like horseback riding, swimming, fishing and canoeing, archery, arts & crafts and even zip lining. Overcoming a fear of heights is one of the goals organizers say each camper sets.

"All the support that I get from the people at the bottom, like the counselors and everything, that gives me the strength to keep on going," Shelton said. This week he's going for his fifth time climbing the rock wall.

Each camper sets a goal to accomplish during the camp.

"It may be even to brush your teeth or even tie your shoe by yourself, or pick out your own clothes by yourself, and just lots of really small things or really big goals," said Alice Salley, Camp Director.

Salley said a lot of the campers achieve those goals by the end of the week.

"They leave here more independent and ready to face the year ahead," Salley said.

This is Vincent's second year at Camp TBI. He said the activities help him rebuild simple skills like memory and balancing, but what he enjoys building the most are the everlasting friendships.

To make a donation to Camp TBI go to:

http://www.wrh.org/community_outreach_programs.cfm#CampTBI

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