On Halloween, the disability community in Marinette held a potluck dinner and dance. It was well attended with roughly 75 attending the event. Several groups within the disability community gathered together including the S.I.G.H.T. program, which puts on events for individuals with disabilities, The Ecumenical Bible Class for Adults with Disabilities, and Marinette County Special Olympics.
Camp Daniel missionaries, the Burys, participate in all three of these groups; therefore, they enjoyed the opportunity to untie together. The night was fun as many dressed in costumes, shared a meal together and then danced the night away.
Dancing is one of the most enjoyed activities within most, intellectual disability communities. Dances are held on a regular bases at sheltered workshops, Special Olympics, and especially during our weeks of camp. It isn’t until the music starts and the first dance begins campers and counselors alike begin to feel at ease and connect with each other. Almost every theme meal and evening activity during the camp season consists of dancing.
We often have people ask, why we spend so much time with music and dancing? This goes back to our purpose as a camp staff, which is to be missionaries into the disability community. Part of being a missionary is understanding the cultural norms for the people group one works among, in this case, this disability community! Within this culture dance is highly important. Dancing is one of those tools we use to break down the walls and tends to unite us together. Dance is the number one tool to connect and reach out into the disability culture. It is a natural, innate activity that the disability community is attracted to and connects to like no other. It is an activity that anybody can participate in no matter their level of intellect or ability to socially connect.
Dance 4 Disability (D4D) was started by Camp Daniel and other Green Bay organizations that provide opportunities for people with disabilities. Its purpose is to gather the many circles within the disability community in Green Bay and celebrate people with disabilities. It has been a great success, with an average of 250-300 attending for the past several years. It is always held the first Saturday of June at the Grand Pavilion at Beach in Green Bay. This year’s event will be held on June 4th. Put is on your calendar and join us!
There are several other organizations and churches that put on dances for people with disabilities. Recently, staff member from Camp Daniel participated in a formal dance event , A Night To Remember, put on by Hartland Church in Sun Prairie. Gals with disabilities had the opportunity to have their hair and make up done, and pick out jewelry. Everyone enjoyed a limo ride, a photo shoot, and an opportunity to walk The Red Carpet before they entered the dance party. Check out this video of the event! http://heartland.cc/sunprairie/stories/
Other organized dances include A Night To Shine through the Tim Tebow Foundation. Like everything else here at Camp, we cannot do what we do without partnerships with other churches and organizations. Camp Daniel staff member, Laura Lee, has been developing relationships with people, organizations and churches for an event like this to happen in the Green Bay area and recently received a grant from the Tim Tebow Foundation to put on A Night To Shine. So far, Camp Daniel, The Able Church, and Green Bay Community Church have partnered together for this event, which will be held at Green Bay Community Church on February 10th, 2017. This event will take a lot of manpower and we continue to look for volunteers and partners. Check out this video about A Night To Shine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPUcw0Q5UEI
If you would like more information about how you can volunteer or partner with either Dance 4 Disability or A Night To Shine, please contact Laura Lee Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org