NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – PACK Camp is back.
The Pasco Association of Challenged Kids is holding their annual summer camp.
PACK has been taking in with campers with disabilities for nearly 25 years.
They missed last year due to COVID-19, the first time they had to cancel.
“It was really heartbreaking. I know it was the right decision. But it was still really rough on everybody,” said co-founder Paula Cohen.
That’s why Paula and her husband Barry Cohen were excited to welcome campers back this year.
They started the camp nearly 25 years ago. It was for their son Gregory, who is autistic and couldn’t go to other summer camps.
Though he’s outgrown it, PACK Camp lives on each summer, taking in kids that other camps don’t. It’s the only summer camp in Pasco that takes in kids with disabilities.
“If you had asked Barry and me 25 years ago if we’d still be doing it this now, I would have said no. But there is still a need so we still do it,” Paula said.
The camp is held at the Genesis School in New Port Richey and includes different activities each day, from outdoors on the playground to indoor arts and crafts.
The camp has been split into two sessions this year to help with social distancing. Staff and campers are wearing masks as a precaution.
But they say it’s worth it to be back.
“We missed it. The staff missed it. The kids really missed it,” Paula said.
The founders rely on donations and some state funding to run the camp.
They do this to keep fees low for families. For more information, visit https://www.pascopack.org/