Camp MITIOG is a week-long camp accredited by the American Camp Association, for children living with spina bifida. Camp MITIOG is held at Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center, a wheelchair accessible environment, which is located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
During camp, children participate in camping activities including swimming, fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, nature class, classes on self-help medical care, and evening campfires. Memories of the week are recorded in the “Camp Log,” which children receive at the end of camp.
For these children, Camp MITIOG provides an opportunity to be 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 these unique talents to benefit themselves and others. They learn to see their abilities instead of their limitations.
Not only does the camp serve children with spina bifida, it also provides a special opportunity for the volunteer counselors and staff. Each camper is paired with their own counselor who is a high school student, college student, or young adult. Camp gives these volunteers the opportunity to work with children living with special needs. In a very short period of time, these counselors see campers not as people with disabilities, but as “kids” like themselves.
The staff of Camp MITIOG consists of over 50 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 created by this unique experience.