Camp MITIOG is a week-long camp accredited by the American Camp Association, held each summer for almost 40 years. During their week of camp, the children participate in regular camping activities including swimming, fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, nature classes, classes on self-help medical care and evening campfires. Memories of the week are recorded in the “Camp Log,” put together by the campers themselves which they receive by mail a short time after the close of camp. Camp MITIOG is held at Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center which is located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri and provides a wheelchair accessible environment.
For most of these children, camp is the only opportunity they have in an environment in which they are accepted as equals. The uniqueness of bringing together children with similar, yet different physical conditions helps them to discover their individual gifts, skills, and talents. They are enabled to find how they can share their unique talents to benefit themselves and others. They learn to see their abilities…not their limitations.
Not only does the camp serve children with Spina Bifida, it also provides a special opportunity for the volunteer counselors and staff as well. Each child is paired with their own individual counselor who is a senior high school student, college student or older young adult. Camp gives these students the unique opportunity to work with children with special needs. In a very short period of time, these counselors see campers not as people with disabilities, but as “kids” not unlike themselves.
The staff of Camp MITIOG consists of over 50 other volunteers, including medical personnel, instructors, cooks, lifeguards and pastoral counselors. Many of our counselors and staff members have attended camp year after year, drawn back by the friendship of these very special children.