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In partnership with families, the Greater Richmond ARC creates life-fulfilling opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Tag Archives: Camp Baker

Meet Dazeray

When Dazeray graduated from high school in 2011, her parents wanted to find a program where she wouldn't “sit around," her mom said.

Dazeray keeps busy at Camp Baker.  An outgoing person, she likes the day support program’s daily activities that include swimming and horseback riding in the summer, along with trips to local parks and shopping trips year round. She also shines at the camp's holiday dinners, where she’s been known to give instructions on good table manners.

"She enjoys going there and when she’s away from ARC, she talks about it constantly," her mom said. "At times I've tried to look at other places, and she says, 'No way!'"

Without day support, Dazeray probably would be staying with relatives during the day where there would be less activity. For her, this program has been the best solution.

"They look out for her there. I feel she's safe."

Meet Colleen

The chance to stand on her own two feet.

That's what attending Camp Baker has given Colleen.

Wheelchair bound, when Colleen, 28, returned home from overnight camp last summer, she was better able to stand briefly and pivot on own.

_RSP4341For her mom Missey, it was "the most wonderful thing," adding that it was just one example of how well the counselors encouraged and nurtured her daughter's abilities.

"Colleen is so used to us as her sole caretakers; being with others just opens up her world. They read to her, talked with her, and were absolutely far more patient than I am at 3 a.m., " Missey said, noting that one of her daughter’s challenges is being able to sleep.

In fact, Missey describes Colleen’s entire overnight camp experience with activities like a talent show, swimming, canoeing, and arts and crafts, as "expanding" and "exhilarating.”

"For us, this has been a Godsend."

Meet Cody

Cody's mom Kendall usually has a hard time getting her son to have a conversation. He's fourteen, after all.

But when she picks him up at Camp Baker's summer program, he's nonstop. "Usually it's like pulling teeth to initiate conversation," but after spending  time at camp, "he's so animated. I have to say 'slow down, buddy'  as he lists everything he's done all week. It's really cool to see that."

Cody 's family first heard about Camp Baker from their local Down Syndrome group, and he's attended every summer ever since, now eight or nine years.

"He loves all the counselors, and he's kind of grown up with all the kids, " said Kendall. She knows he's happy while at camp because the staff post pictures for her on Facebook of him grinning "ear to ear."

"He talks about Camp Baker all year round. " Without it, Kendall said, "I would be very disappointed. He would be very disappointed."

BB&T Volunteers Partner with ARC to Make a Difference

Members of BB&T's Lighthouse Project, now in its eighth year, recently volunteered at the Greater Richmond ARC's ARCpark, a 2.4 acre handicap-accessible park for all ages and abilities at 3600 Saunders Avenue that opened last year. Their all-hands-on-deck effort included light landscaping such as spreading mulch.

BBT Lighthouse IMG_3479

"We want every one of our associates physically working in their communities to make a tangible difference in people's lives, ” said BB& T Chairman and CEO Kelly King.

Left to Right: Mary Catherine Ross, Brittani Gill, Emily Lehmann and Ginny Slack.

Left to Right: Mary Catherine Ross, Brittani Gill, Emily Lehmann and Ginny Slack.

In addition, BB& T volunteers helped at ARC's recent Ladybug fundraiser, purchased recreational equipment and  arts & crafts supplies for ARC’s Camp Baker summer camp program, and are hosting a luncheon in June for ARC Employment Services participants.

Left to Right: Brittani Gill and Ginny Slack.

Left to Right: Brittani Gill and Ginny Slack.

Respite camps offered for special needs

Richmond Parents Monthly featured Camp Baker in the January 15 Camp & Education Fair Guide. Respite provides participants with the fun of a camp experience and caregivers with a "mini vacation" of their own.


“Comcast Cares Day” a success at Camp Baker in Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (May 20, 2014)-- On April 26, more than 200 volunteers participated in Comcast Cares Day, the company’s annual, nationwide day of service, in Chesterfield alongside the Greater Richmond ARC. Community members, employees from Comcast and NBC Universal and their families and friends, arrived at ARC's Camp Baker ready to work.

         Carrying paintbrushes, potted plants, and landscaping equipment, the volunteers proceeded to plant flower gardens, refurbish the 22-acre wooded facility's walkways and deck, and clear nature trails. Camp Baker provides year-round programs for individuals with developmental disabilities including day support, after school, weekend respite, and summer day and overnight camps.

         “Nature is such an important part of the programs we provide here for individuals with developmental disabilities, "said Rob Steele, director of camp services. "The flower-filled gardens, refurbished deck and walkways, and enhanced walking trail will be appreciated by our campers and their families. We are grateful to Comcast for their support, and will enjoy the fruits of their volunteer effort throughout the coming seasons."

          “Comcast Cares Day is a special moment for our employees, a chance for them to reinforce through good deeds our company’s unwavering dedication to improving lives in the communities where we live and work,” said Donna Rattley Washington, Comcast’s regional vice president of government and community affairs. “This day is all the more impactful thanks to the friends, family members and community groups volunteering their time at sites across the country, and we’re truly grateful for their partnership.”

         Now in its 13th year, Comcast Cares Day has become the largest single day of corporate volunteering in the country. This year, more than 80,000 Comcast and NBC Universal volunteers participated in over 800 projects across the country and around the globe. More than half a million volunteers have contributed over three million volunteer hours since Comcast Cares Day started in 2001.

Ahoy! The Greater Richmond ARC’s Camp Baker announces summer sessions schedule

--Camp for individuals with developmental disabilities includes boating this year

CHESTERFIELD, Va. ( March 21, 2014)-- This summer, the Greater Richmond ARC’s Camp Baker will sponsor boating outings twice a week for children and adults with developmental disabilities at its neighbor, Pocahontas State Park.

     Accompanied by camp staff, day and overnight campers will have the opportunity  to canoe, kayak and peddle a paddle boat.

     “It promises to be an exciting summer,” said Rob Steele, Camp Baker’s director of camp services.

    “We are grateful for the help and support we’ve received from Pocahontas State Park. For some of our campers, it will be the first time they’ve experienced the thrill being on the water, and being able to view natural surroundings  from the perspective of a boat.”

     Horseback riding is also on the Camp Baker itinerary, along with nature walks, talent shows, arts and crafts, swimming in the Camp’s pool, campfires and cookouts in the covered picnic pavilion.

   Overnight  camp sessions  for adults ages 18 and over will be  June 15-20 and 22-27; June 29-July 4, July 6-11, 13-18, and 20-25;  and July 27-August l. The cost is $800 per week. Camper arrival is on Sundays between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. Each weekly overnight session ends by noon on Fridays.

   Day camp is also available the same weeks for adults with developmental disabilities ages 18 and over from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.  A week of day camp is $400. Day camp is held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

     For children and teens ages 5 through 17, overnight camp sessions will be held at Camp Baker on August 3 -August 8, and August 10-August 15 for $800 per session. Day camp for children with developmental disabilities will also be available those weeks Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday. The cost for children and teens for $400.

Greater Richmond’s ARC’s weekend respite at Camp Baker focuses on fun community outings

CHESTERFIELD, VA. ( January 17, 2014) -- The Greater Richmond ARC is sponsoring weekend respite sessions for individuals with developmental disabilities that include community outings to local movie theaters and community festivals and events.

Held at ARC's Camp Baker in Chesterfield, the weekend respite program also provides a wide range of on-site supervised activities, including music, nature programs, and arts and crafts at its 22-acre, handicap-accessible facility.

Children’s respite weekends (ages 6-18) begin Friday at 6 p.m. and end at Sunday at 4 p.m. the weekends of January 24, February 21, March 21, April 25, May 23, August 8, September 26, October 24, November 21, and December 19, 2014.

No children’s respite programs are scheduled in June or July because of summer camp sessions.

Adult weekend respite programs (ages 18 and up) are scheduled on weekends beginning on Friday, January 3, 10, 17, and 31; February 7, 14, and 28; March 7, 14, and 28; April 4, 11; May 2, 9, 16, and 30; June 13, 20, and 27; July 11, 18, and 25; August 1 and 22; September 5, 12, and 19; October 3,10, 17, and 31; November 7 and 14; and December 5 and 12, 2014.

This year adult participants can choose weekends from among three groups that best reflect their skill level and activity preferences.

“We want to provide the best experience possible, and families can leave their loved one with a skilled staff that understands their needs,” says ARC’s Vice President of Developmental Services Quintin Mitchell.

Cost per session is $593.86 or the equivalent in 46 Medicaid waiver respite hours. For more information, call (804) 358-1874, (804) 748-4789, or visit

BB&T Lighthouse Project spruces up ARC’s Camp Baker in Chesterfield County

Green isn't just about the money.

BB&T Lighthouse Project spruces up ARC's Camp Baker in Chesterfield County

RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2012) For the third consecutive year, BB&T employees went out into their communities to take part in the BB&T Lighthouse Project, a company-wide community service effort held annually in May and June. BB&T employees are able to fulfill the Company's mission to make the communities we serve better places to live by lending a helping hand to those in need of hope and encouragement during this time of economic instability and insecurity.

For the second time in three years, BB&T's Commercial Lending Team in Richmond selected the Greater Richmond ARC for its 2012 Lighthouse Project. This year landscaping service was provided to ARC's CampBaker facility in Chesterfield County, Va. According to Doug Roth, BB&T Senior Vice President and Area Executive, We believe wholeheartedly in supporting the community. But we're not simply cutting checks; we believe in getting out, working together and participating in hands-on projects for worthy causes.

Do they mind getting their hands a little dirty in the process? Laughing, Roth answered, Not at all. This is why we like it so much.

Eighteen BB&T employees worked for two days sprucing up CampBaker with new Japanese Hollies, Hydrangeas, Hostas, Gardenias and ornamental grasses, first on June 22nd and finishing the project on June 28th. Hudgins Landscaping & Nursery of Moseley, Va., provided the plants and greenery at a discount, which were planted around CampBaker's Price House and the Camp's main lodge. The old shrubs and plants were not simply discarded, however; they were pulled up re-planted in areas around the camp that previously had no greenery.

We are very grateful for the hard work BB&T has put forth at CampBaker and are honored to once again be selected for BB&T's Lighthouse Project, said Quintin Mitchell, Vice President of Developmental Services at the Greater Richmond ARC. The staff and campers now have fresh, green landscaping to enhance the CampBaker experience.

Carnival Time at Camp Baker

Last month our friends over at Camp Baker invited us to a huge carnival day they were having. We were so excited about it that we took everybody!

When we got to the camp there was so much to do. They had stations set up with so many great activities. There was face painting, with critters and hearts and animals available. There were balloon animals and balloon hats being made for all of us. They had lots of games and wellness activities setup as well.

We got to eat lunch with our Camp Baker friends and had a chance to meet lots of new friends too.

We all had a great day at camp, and we are planning more activities with our Camp Baker friends for the future!