Campground caters to kids of all ages, abilities

- Kids with special needs are getting a one-of-a-kind playground experience they don't usually get from schoolyard equipment.

Rotary Camp Florida's campground is giving kids with special needs access to activities and fun without the worry of injury or lack of access. But for parents of kids with disabilities, it's a portal into parts of their children's personalities they may not see every day.

"It's nice to be able to socialize with other parents [who] understand the same struggles and strategies and things that we deal with," parent Jeanelle Tucker said.

Rotary Club of Tampa bought the 22-acre campground 25 years ago. It is designed to be 100 percent accessible for every kid.

"Look at this. I mean, this is spectacular. There aren't many places in Hillsborough County like this for kids," Susan Sheffield said.

The camp is also low-cost, letting parents focus on the fun rather than the money.

"I can tell you that we really do accept children of all ages, all disabilities. We never turn them away," Liz Fields of Rotary Camp Florida said. "Every child deserves an opportunity to come to camp." 

The camp served more than 5,000 children last year.

"When I hear those kids screaming and laughing, that's what it is all about," Liz said.

For more information, visit www.rotaryscampflorida.org.

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