Founder and Mission Director of Camp Big Sky in Princeville, Brad Guidi, provided insight into what his organization offers, and why he started it 14 years ago.
“I’m the sibling and parent of a person with developmental disabilities. My brother Bruce died when I was 15. He was 12. He had been fine up until he got his immunizations at 5 1/2 months of age, and something triggered something in him. He died when he was 12, and I made a promise to him that one day I would do something for people with disabilities,” Guidi said.
Camp Big Sky provides both children and adults with developmental, physical, cognitive, sensory, and age-related disabilities an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors – something that Guidi grew up enjoying. The camp is completely free of charge, and serves between 1,500 to 2,000 people per year.
The camp is open every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from the 1st of May to the end of October. Saturdays are also available by special request. Although Camp Big Sky is located over 40 miles southeast of Monmouth, Guidi says plenty of visitors from Warren County make the trip.
“Last year, I think we had – including people with disabilities, and their family, friends, and caregivers – we served 175 people from Warren County, primarily from Warren County Achievement Center, Roseville Rehab, and from the Monmouth-Roseville School District,” he said.
All accomodations and activities are totally accessible. Activities include fishing, boating, camp fires, cook outs, hiking, archery, and much more. To find out more about the camp, become a volunteer, or find out how you can support Camp Big Sky, log on to www.campbigsky.org or call 309-258-6002.
written by Jackson Kane