Amputee youth from ages 4 to 17 joined their friends, families and 25 students from St. Petersburg College’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program at the Second Annual Adaptive Sailing Never Say Never Pirate Camp in Clearwater in October.
Sponsored by the Never Say Never Foundation, Pirates of the Care Free Being and Sailability Greater Tampa Bay, the three-day event was held at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center. Events were designed to teach ocean appreciation and sailing skills and the importance of following dreams. SPC students helped with the obstacle course and mobility and agility exercises and offered pilates sessions to the kids.
SPC senior Shanna Rousseau was as excited as event organizers because SPC’s attendance meant kids would get more individual attention.
“Any time I can work with kids, it’s uber rewarding because they don’t really think of themselves as having disabilities,” Rousseau said. “They can do anything.”
Last year, 11 families and 23 aspiring pirates took part in the event. The camp is supported solely through donations, which means campers and their families participate at no cost.
“This is a great event to help pediatric amputees and the community,” said Arlene Gillis, program director of the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics & Prosthetics Program at SPC. “It’s really an amazing learning opportunity and allows our students to give back.”