Staff and volunteers with the Erin Eickmeier Foundation are busy preparing their newly acquired ranch for day camps next summer.
The Circle Star Ranch, which includes two homes on 22 acres in Valles Mines, Mo., will host day camps run by the foundation in the latter part of summer 2013, said Renee Eickmeier, president of the foundation. The day camps are designed for school-aged children with developmental disabilities, and daily transportation from the metro area will be provided.
To provide a change of pace from highly structured school days, the day camp will let kids pick their daily activities, Eickmeier said. Additionally, each child will have his or her own counselor.
"It's not a camp where it's 10 a.m., and now it's time to play with playdough," she said. "I don't care if your kid has autism or Cri Du Chat Syndrome ... they each have their own agenda. There's a lot of activities [at the ranch] for the kids to try, but they don't have to do what everyone else is doing at the same time."
The 4,000-square-foot home is conducive to open play, Eickmeier said. When it opens to campers, there will be a nature observation room, an art room, a quiet sensory room, a transportation room and a messy play room. Outside, campers will be able to take advantage of the in-ground swimming pool and nature trails.
In the future, the foundation would like to offer weekend programs for adults with disabilities.
The Erin Eickmeier Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with work projects around the ranch. They have created a Walmart Wish List for the ranch and are accepting donations. Learn more about the foundation by visiting their Facebook page. From the calendar