ACE Summer Camp provides activities for kids with developmental disabilities

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A unique summer camp in the Roanoke Valley is giving dozens of kids with developmental disabilities a chance to branch out and have fun. 

Danielle Durrance is staying focused during an intense game of UNO. She is at ACE Summer Camp, a camp designed for those with multiple developmental disabilities. 

"It's fun and I get to see my friends. I like it," said Durrance. 

Activities Created for Enrichment, or ACE, is designed to give campers a chance to experience a typical summer camp. From arts and crafts to a little bowling, even a scavenger hunt at Explore Park, the kids are having fun without being limited by their disabilities. 

"We're providing so much stimulation, so many good times. We're working on social skills and physical fitness. It's so fun to see them do what other kids are doing," said Kari Decker, therapeutic recreation supervisor for Roanoke County. 

A special staff ratio sets ACE apart from other summer camps. Many of these staff members will work with just one camper. Staff members said sometimes, that makes all the difference. 

"These are kiddos that typically would not be successful in an inclusion setting because they need more structure or they need someone to keep them on task, and that's what our staff provide," said Decker. 

More than 30 campers will attend ACE at some point during its seven-week run this summer. 

To learn more about ACE, click here.