By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Noon Lions Club would like to announce the registration and application process for the Texas Lions Camp (TLC) in Kerrville is now underway.

“The camp is geared for handicapped children,” President Martha Childress said. “It doesn’t matter how handicapped they are. To go to the Lions Camp, a child needs to be sponsored by a local Lions Club and we’re always looking for someone to sponsor.”

There are five sessions at the TLC camp for children with physical disabilities. Campers must be between the ages of seven and 16.

“Different from many traditional approaches that may group children according to their diagnosis, TLC’s program mainstreams children according to their age and gender and not according to their disabilities,” the TLC Website stated.

For children with Downs Syndrome children must be between the ages of 12 and 16, be a Texas resident and have Downs Syndrome as a diagnosis. In addition, children must be cooperative, have basic self-help skills and be able to participate in a small group setting with 5-8 other children within the broader Camp setting.

The third type of camp is for children diagnosed with type-1 diabetes.

“TLC’s program for children who have type-1 diabetes began in the mid-1970s under the general supervision of Dr. Luther Travis. For the last 35 years, the program has thrived under the expertise of Dr. Stephen Ponder,” the website states.

The program is organized into two, one-week sessions and “… is especially helpful for newly-diagnosed campers, who are granted priority registration until April 15th of each year. To qualify, children must be between the ages of 8-15, be a Texas resident and have a primary diagnoses of Type-1 diabetes.”

“All you need to do is get in touch with any Lions Club member,” Childress said. “I can’t imagine any Lions Club turning a child down. You can get in touch with me or any other Grapeland Noon Lions Club member. We would love to sponsor a child this summer.”

“There no cost for the camp or transportation,” the website stated. “This is a gift to these wonderful children of more than $1,850, over $2,000 with transportation. This week long camp is a gift of a lifetime for your child.”

To apply, potential campers need to submit the application found online at www.lionscamp.com.  The application will include: contact Information; a physical and doctor’s permission; the Lion sponsor; dietary requirements; insurance information; and a legal waiver and permission to treat.

“We can sponsor more than one,” the club president said. “We even provide the transportation. There is no cost to the child or the family.”

For more information check out the Texas Lions Camp website or contact any local Lions club member.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.