Camp Grom opens in Virginia Beach


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A one-of-a-kind camp for people with disabilities opened this Sunday in Virginia Beach. 

Camp Grom is for children and adults with disabilities, wounded veterans and families who have lost loved ones in combat. 

An official ribbon cutting ceremony marked the opening of Camp Grom.

According to a press release, the opening afternoon began with speeches acknowledging all of the efforts that went into the $15 million project. 

Afterwards the ribbon cutting, attendees spent the afternoon enjoying camp activities from swimming to wake boarding, fishing, basketball, kayaking and rock climbing on the climbing tower.  

The 13-acre camp sits on 70 acres of land, an oasis for people with disabilities and their families. The official first day is Monday, but the first group won’t arrive until early July.

“This is our biggest endeavor yet,” said Andrew Yancey, Chairman of the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation.  “It’s an adventure camp for children with disabilities as well as our wounded veterans.”The vision behind the camp: “rehab through recreation.”

The Virginia Gentleman Foundation created the camp, spending more than a decade fundraising in honor of a friend with ALS — Josh Thompson. 

Thompson was a surfer turned disability advocate after being diagnosed with ALS.

The YMCA will run the camp and all of its programs. 

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