LDSS Camp Buddy June 22-25 to be Virtual this Summer

SAVANNAH, Ga. - June 15, 2020 - PRLog -- For the past 11 years, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) has been helping students with Down syndrome enjoy summer fun at Camp Buddy as they prepare for the upcoming school year – and this year, not even a global pandemic can stop them! The LDSS will host Virtual Camp Buddy June 22 through June 25, 2020.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic upended life in mid-March, people have turned to internet meeting applications like Zoom or Google Meets for everything from business meetings to class sessions to worship services. Now, add summer camp to that list. With web-cam equipped computers, parents and their campers (ages 7 to 16) will gather for the virtual camp each day during the camp session.

Look for the features that made Camp Buddy a favorite with families for more than the past decade, according to Molly Marchese, the camp's co-director with Pam Hussey — things like involvement of occupational, physical and speech therapists, and learning cleverly disguised as games.

Previous camps started out using church facilities and moved on to public school facilities, with different sessions for Chatham County and Effingham County and nearby areas. As the pandemic gobbled up larger and larger chunks of the calendar, LDSS's leadership realized that a physical camp was simply not possible in 2020. The answer was Virtual Camp Buddy, largely an improvisation driven by necessity.

The physical camps were generally based in a public school, with students often using the camp as a home base for field trips. Instead, this year the campers will be led through various projects via Zoom and its audiovisual links. The plan is to return to the physical format in future years, but Marchese said the virtual version may present some future potential as well. Depending on how well things go in this first year, it could become an option for serving children who live in areas without summer options for differently-abled children.

The camp sessions will run daily on each of the four camp days. Most of the slots are already claimed, but parents can see if any positions open up by emailing Marchese at The camp fee is $20.

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) supports people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact. LDSS encourages the whole family to attend; children of all ages are welcome. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit

Whitney Lowery
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

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