Vermont camp for children and adults with special needs announces new board members

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Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:18am -- Denise Sortor

Camp Thorpe (www.campthorpe.org), now in its 92nd season of providing safe, educational and fun summer camp experiences for children and adults with special needs from throughout Vermont, has welcomed three new members to its Board of Trustees. The three are Roni Coleman of Calais, Melody Frank of Waterbury Center, and Pamela Crino of Bethel.

"As we enter our next 92 years of service, we are excited to have new board members joining us, each of whom brings a passion and love for our campers, a wealth of knowledge, and an abundance of energy that will support our plans to grow into the future,” said Lyle Jepson, co-president and secretary of the board.

Martha Heath, co-president and treasurer of the board, concurs. “We are proud of the 92 years of summer camp we have provided for our campers, many of whom would otherwise have difficulty enjoying the great outdoors most Vermonters take for granted. With our three new board members, we are bringing on the kind of expertise we need to be sustainable for the long term.”

Roni Coleman, MS, is a Mediator for Home Share Now in Barre. She is also in private practice with Riverstone Resolutions, LLC and is Board Chair of the Barre Community Justice Center. Coleman has a masters in mediation and a masters in special education, and is passionate about helping to provide the summer camp experience for this population.

Melody Bongiorno Frank, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Student Support Specialist at Harwood Union Middle/High School and a member of the American Psychological Association. She is a former Camp Thorpe counselor who describes that year as the best summer of her life. She is still in touch with other former counselors, and is eager to bring their perspectives to the board.

Pamela Crino, ME, has 30 years experience as a special education teacher, mentor, and supervisor, including 23 years at South Royalton Elementary School as a case manager and teacher of students in Kindergarten through 6th grade. Previously, she was a child life specialist at Franciscan Children’s Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Boston. Serving students with disabilities has been Pamela’s life’s work and passion.

Camp Thorpe was founded in 1927 by the Reverend Walter and Lavinia Thorpe. The mission of Camp Thorpe is to provide a fun and safe camp experience to children and adults with special needs. Its vision is to create a camp community where everyone feels safe, secure and accepted.

Camp Thorpe is a 501(c)(3) organization which provides camping experiences to children and adults with a wide variety of physical and developmental challenges, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, epilepsy, and many other diagnoses. With a counselor to camper ratio of 1:3, Camp Thorpe provides the individual care, close supervision, and assistance needed so all campers can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, nature activities and campfires, along with skit night, arts and crafts, dances, and karaoke.