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Camp Rise Above needs land near children's hospital

Imagine those summer days spent swimming, playing and making lasting memories. Summer camps are a right of passage for many kids, but what about those who simply can't go?

There is hope, and it comes in the form of a camp right here in the Lowcountry made for kids living with serious medical issues.

But Camp Rise Above now faces a battle of its own.

In just months, children all over Charleston will be heading off to camp. At James Island County Park, a very special group of kids will be gearing up for another year at Camp Rise Above.

"When our kids come for two days, we cram a week of camp into that two days," said Camp Rise Above executive director Erin Ulmer. "We go swimming each morning at Splash Zone. We have the place to ourselves. We have rock climbing. We do archery. We do fishing, paddle boating, group games, nature activities.

But running a camp for those living with disabilities ranging from asthma to cerebral palsy presents its own challenges both physically and monetarily. The county park has graciously played host for years now, but with its popularity rising right along with the temperature, organizers say its time to expand and find a new, more permanent home.

"Our hope is that we can get the land donated," said John Carroll of the Camp Rise Above board of directors.

Carroll said the camp needs at least 50 acres of land for a permanent home.

The future site would need to be just as unique as the children it serves, able to meet certain standards to accommodate the conditions of the campers and be close to MUSC.

"We have gone from one end of Charleston County to the other," Carroll said. "We have a particular criteria because of the children we serve. We need to be within a 45-minute drive of the children's hospital."

Until the time comes, campers and councilors will continue to make memorable experiences at the county park.

If you'd like to help Camp Rise Above write the next chapter in their great story, you can DONATE HERE.

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