Camp Rise Above hosts Eagle Harbor group home

{}By Ava Wilhite

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- For two week each summer, Camp Rise Above opens its doors for a seemingly endless list of different groups of children.

From Splashing down the water slides to pedal boats and kayaking, Camp Rise Above counselors are working to create life long summer memories.

"The demographic might vary; the disease might vary; but when it boils down to it these guys, they're just guys. Boys and girls just trying to do their thing, have a great summer," said camp counselor James Ulmer.

Ulmer is a first year counselor. He says pairing each counselor with a single camper works best when they have to work quickly to create a bond.

"Comfort, it provides for them a level of comfort that lets them sort of be themselves, and because they have such a short time with us," he said. "They open up very quickly and so they feel more free to do whatever it is they want to do and be whoever it is that they want to be."

Marvin Arnsdorff, is on the camp's board of directors. He says the boys from the Eagle Harbor Ranch group home are the last session.

"We started off with heart and kidney disease. That went Monday and Tuesday of last week. Then we went to Sickle Cell, which lasted Thursday and Friday. Monday and Tuesday of this week was actually our brain tumor kids," he said.

Counselors like Ulmer say the bombardment of activities allows the kids to just be kids. He says the camp also teaches counselors a lesson.

"One of the ones that is under-identified, in my opinion, is resilience because these kids just keep on going," said Ulmer.