Editorial — SODE, community combine for terrific event

Date Published: 
Aug. 25, 2017

For the 17th consecutive year, Special Olympics Delaware (SODE) athletes from across the state ventured down to Camp Barnes this month to enjoy a classic summer camp experience.

“When we started it 17 years ago, we developed it to truly fit into our mission, which is sports training,” explained Jon Buzby, director of media relations for SODE. “So, the athletes, when they came here, we did sports. We did volleyball. We did soccer. We did bocce. We did basketball. Everything we did was something they trained and competed in during the year.

“As time went on, what we realized is we were limiting the population that could come to camp because it was so strenuous, as the sports we were offering were more of our high-level sports,” he continued.

SODE began to transform its Camp Barnes experience, and opened the camp to archery, swimming, kayaking, nature walks, and arts and crafts. This change both attracted more visitors to the camp, and took better advantage of what the environment at Camp Barnes could offer. In fact, SODE has been taking better advantage of what our entire community can offer.

“We have people that just help us,” said Marie McIntosh, a Sussex Riptide coach and member of the SODE Hall of Fame. “The community here, I can’t tell you — the community here is outstanding.”

Time and time again, our community is lauded for jumping in to help worthy causes, and rightfully so. Between the natural offerings and aesthetics, and the help-your-neighbor belief of the people here, Camp Barnes is the ideal location for this amazing event, and we hope to see it continue to grow for decades into the future.