Camp Capella Wraps up Special Program 

Kids at Camp Capella in Dedham are wrapping up a special program that helped connect them with campers halfway around the world.As Amy Erickson reports, the experience has helped little ones in two very different countries realize how much they have in common.”Part of the camping experience the last two weeks has been learning about these kids from around the world. It’s learning through play and it’s what we do really well here.”At Camp CaPella, it’s not just swimming and crafts that get these kids excited.The campers are also using the computer to make friends half a world away.Thanks to a special project sponsored by the State Department, they’ve spent the past two weeks communicating with Special Olympics athletes at a camp in Turkmenistan, north of Iran and Afghanistan.”Right there, it looks like they’re doing some arts and crafts, just like we do here! And here they’re playing basketball.””They play table tennis.””They have waterfalls that they swim in.”Thursday, Camp CaPella kids received photos from their counterparts across the globe. The images helped the Maine kids realize that around the world, folks with disabilities are doing amazing things.”I think they’re learning a concept, that kids all over the world have disabilities and we all have our challenges…and there are other kids that are not so unlike them, even all the way around the other side of the world.””Those kids are very smart and very active.”6-year-old Hunter Giroux says he’s learned quite a bit from the experience.He says he’d like to hop a plane to Turkmenistan someday…once he learns the language.”They do not speak American…but they speak Turkman.”Camp CaPella Executive Director Dana Mosher says he’s amused by what factoids about Turkmenistan have fascinated his campers.”They don’t have McDonalds hamburgers in Turkmenistan and they couldn’t imagine. They don’t have hamburgers in Turkmenistan??!!”