On Tuesday, July 30th NJSGA Executive Director Kevin Purcell and three PGA professionals visited the ARC of Essex County’s Camp Hope in East Hanover to share the game of golf with campers. Tommy Monteverdi of Glen Ridge Country Club and Mike Marvin and Brian Krulfeifer of North Jersey Country Club provided instruction and support on a makeshift driving range and putting green.
“Tommy, Mike, Brian and I enjoyed sharing the game of golf with our new friends at Camp Hope", said Kevin Purcell. “Their enthusiasm was contagious. A well-struck ball or a good putt was cause for celebration and there were high fives all around.”
"The kids worked with Tommy and Mike on the range teeing the ball up and taking full swings. Then they came my way for some putting under a pavilion, and then finished up with Brian on the miniature golf course.”
The participants used SNAG golf equipment (plastic clubs with large clubheads) to hit shots and putts; tennis balls were used to make learning a little easier. The targets are made of a Velcro material and the tennis balls stick to them on contact.
The Camp also has a portable miniature golf course with six holes. Three stations were set up and groups of 10 spent a half hour on each activity.
“The campers had an amazing time, and were talking about their new friends for hours after the instructors left,” said Heather Comstock ARC’s Senior Director of Development and Communications. It was a great experience for both campers and volunteers.
Camp Hope is a summer day camp program for youngsters with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The camp provides traditional camp activities, including supervised swimming and outdoor fun with modified sports, music, arts & crafts. While enjoying these activities, attention is also given to daily living skills, peer interaction, socialization skills and developing appropriate behaviors.
The NJSGA Youth Foundation supports youth golf initiatives throughout the state. The ARC of Essex and Union were recipients of a three year grant to help support their programming.