More than a dozen people braved the frigid waters of the Potomac River in Shepherds-town Saturday to raise money and awareness for Camp No Limits, which is a non-profit organization that provides camp for children with limb loss and their families. Their mission is to educate and empower young people with limb loss to discover and develop a healthy, happy and independent lifestyle.
The polar plunge began in Shepherdstown four years ago with Scott Greeley at the helm. Greeley’s son, David is an amputee and enjoys Camp No Limits, so Scott began this effort to raise money for the camp to help provide scholarships for other amputees and their families.
“I’ve always jumped in the river on New Year’s Day up in Williamsport just for the fun of it,” said Greeley. “But this is a little closer to home. This is a way that I can raise money and give back.”
Greeley simply asks for a donation from people who want to take the plunge, but for $30, participants can receive a t-shirt. Over the years, he’s raised close to $9,000.
David Greeley said he enjoys getting in the river each year-even two years ago when participants had to break surface ice in order to get in.
“I get a little nervous to get in the water,” said David, “but it’s a pretty fun experience.” When asked what he likes about the camp he replied, “I like meeting other people in similar situations and making new friends. I look forward to it every year.”
Tracy and Kirk Wims were there serving hot cocoa and treats prepared by their daughter and her friends from their Girl Scout troop. The treats were being sold as another way to raise money for the camp. The Wims’ son, Isaiah has also been a long-time camp attendee.
“I like that the camp is unique,” said Tracy. “The whole family gets to go. Our daughter goes and talks to other siblings and gets to mentor them. If people have questions about what it’s like as the sibling of an amputee, she’s able to answer them appropriately. As parents, we go and help support other parents and talk to them about different issues they might be facing.”
Camp No Limits began in Maine in 2004, with just four families, but now takes place in several locations all over the nation. Offering education, physical and occupational therapy and peer support makes them a unique camp. For more information, visit nolimitsfoundation.org.