March 16, 2016

25 Years of Ability Camps at Clemson Outdoor Lab

Written by Andrew Matznick

For 39 student members of Pi Kappa Phi, Spring Break was not spent at the beach lounging around in the sun but instead was spent tilling a garden, building a shed, constructing a stage, operating a wood chipper and so much more.

These men participated in the Ability Camp at Clemson Outdoor Lab in Pendleton, SC the week of March 5-10.

Ability Camp is a week-long event to build accessible camp structures for people with disabilities. Clemson Outdoor Lab leads a number of residential camps for children, youth and adults. During the Ability Camp, the men constructed an accessible waterfront shed, sailing dock, a stage, new elements for the team venture course and so much more. Each project will benefit the more than 700 camper who attend the camps throughout the year.

Leslie Conrad, director of the Clemson Outdoor Lab, said, “These are things we wouldn’t have the resources to do, whether it’s financial or just the labor to do projects like these. It really enables us to make our place just that much better for the campers.”

Throughout the building process, the students developed friendships with each other and had the opportunity to interact with some of the campers that will benefit from their hard work. This year men traveled from seven different chapters from Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Virginia to participate. Not only did the men save the camp an estimated $19,000 by donating their time, but The Ability Experience also presented Clemson Outdoor Lab with a grant of $7,500.

View pictures from the Ability Week at Clemson Outdoor Lab.

This year’s Ability Camp was the tenth held at Clemson Outdoor Lab in 25 years. Since its first partnership with Clemson Outdoor Lab in 1991, The Ability Experience is proud to have saved the camp over $285,000 through grants and manpower.


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