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River's Way hosts Downtown Alive Summer Camp

August 17, 2017

In the months of June and July, River’s Way provided an entirely new style of summer camp located in and around downtown Bristol called Downtown Alive. This camp was made possible through community partnerships with the Bristol Family YMCA, Bristol Public Library, Barter Theater, and community volunteers. Downtown Alive summer camp is a program for students and young adults with disabilities in our community.

In the month of June, the camp was held primarily at the Bristol Family YMCA. Campers participated in many different activities including morning songs and games, the Reading Buddies program with the YMCA, book club, acting/interview skills, basketball, yoga, weight lifting, cycling, cardio, swimming, and gardening.

In the month of July, campers spent mornings on walks around Downtown Bristol, with a map designed by students from Emory and Henry College to track our distance and set goals. They also stopped to pick up trash along the way! Downtown Alive campers also spent a big part of their mornings at the Bristol Public Library with various programs provided by library staff and Barter Theatre staff.

The activities in July included book club and story analysis, interview skills and practice, acting skills, 3D printer workshop, clay modeling, and games related to the material in the book club. Afternoons were spent at the YMCA continuing the camp's regular schedule of basketball, yoga, weights, cardio, swimming, and gardening.

River's Way is excited to offer this new summer camp to local community members in and around the Bristol area. It is a great way for students and young adults with disabilities to get involved in a program that provides them many different opportunities and activities.

River’s Way Downtown Alive is a place to meet new friends, develop social skills, develop physical fitness routines and goals, explore Downtown Bristol, get out into the community, read books and act out scenes, be a part of a supportive and encouraging team, and of course, have tons of fun!

River's Way will be making a short film of its first summer of Downtown Alive! Be sure to check their Facebook Page and website over the next few months for updates!

River's Way extends its thanks to Chris Ayers and the entire staff at the Bristol Family YMCA; Hannahlily Angus and T. J. DeWitt at the Bristol Public Library; Michael Ambrister and the students in his geography class at Emory and Henry College; Megan Atkinson and Nikki Shumate of Barter Theater; and summer staff and volunteers. Without the collaboration of these folks on this unique program, Downtown Alive would not have been possible!