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The First Lady's Blog 
First Lady Applauds Camp Shiver Student Volunteers, Staff and Participants on Successful 2010 Season
Posted by Julia Watthey on July 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM AST

On Friday, First Lady Cecile de Jongh commended the Camp Shriver student volunteers, staff, and participants on a successful 2010 summer season. The three-week camp is currently running in the St. Thomas-St. John District, based at Antilles High School, and provides sports and other team-building opportunities for youth with intellectual disabilities, ages 8-18. On St. Thomas, the camp is run by Jackie Nelthropp, Director, and Therese Hodge, Sports Coordinator.

Camp Shriver student volunteers, staff, and participants pose for a photo at the Antilles High School gymnasium on St. Thomas on July 16, 2010.

In 2007, the first lady met with National Camp Shriver Creator and Founder of the Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, to initiate bringing the camp to the Virgin Islands. Now in its fourth year in the territory, the sports camp program continues to provide recreational opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Campers enjoy sports coaching in basketball, kickball, soft ball, soccer, swimming, and volleyball and participate in arts and crafts and cooking classes. The camp also organizes a weekly field trip.

“Camp Shriver evokes the spirit of the Special Olympics and its founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a long-time disabilities advocate whose incredible vision of inclusiveness for people with intellectual disabilities will always be remembered. The camp brings Virgin Islands youth together in a learning, positive environment that develops camaraderie, teamwork, and sportsmanship. I am pleased at the continued interest in and success of the camp in both districts,” the first lady said. 

The first shares Shriver’s vision of creating opportunities for youth that challenge them to reach their highest physical limits; develop physical fitness; and experience the joys and friendship that come from attending a summer camp. 

Camp Shriver focuses on developing long-lasting, positive relationships by creating an atmosphere of understanding, learning, and sharing. Campers are partnered with a student volunteer and new friendships are developed and cultivated.

Camp Shriver is funded by Catholic Charities, which received funding through the generous donations of private entities, including: Cruzan Viril, Ltd.; Golden Eagle Financial, LLLP; Hovensa LLC; Financial Trust Company, Inc.; AH Riise; Active Concepts, Inc.; The West Indian Company, Ltd.; Scotiabank; International Capital & Management Company; Rix Ski’s; and Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.

The camp began on July 6th, runs through July 23rd and is free.