Running, dancing, rock climbing and swimming were just a part of the experience of Fit Kids Camp held Friday at the Hendrix Wellness and Athletic Center.

The camp, sponsored by Therapy 4 Kids, which has offices in Conway and Greenbrier, offered children with special needs a summer camp experience.

Scott Harmon, administrator of Therapy 4 Kids, said this was the first year for Fit Camp. 

"Last year, we considered having this camp but decided to wait until this year," Harmon said. 

The camp was run with the Therapy 4 Kids staff aided by volunteers and some parents.

The idea to host an event on the Hendrix campus came to Harmon when he brought a group of students to aquatic therapy at the Hendrix Wellness and Athletic Center.

"I saw the facilities and thought it would be a great place for a camp," Harmon said. "Hendrix has been more than generous to help us out."

The campers started off the morning with introductions and songs and then spent some time at the Hendrix track having relay races, water balloon tosses and a walking activity. While outside the students also took an opportunity to chase Harmon around the field tossing water balloons at him. Harmon remained mostly unscathed from the encounter.

"We hope next year that it grows and gets bigger," Horton said. "We are working out the kinks, but it is going good. We are taking notes to see what goes over good."

The campers were also visited by a clown, had a magic show, dancing in the "mirror" room, crafts and time for indoor rock climbing and jumping in a jump house. They finished off their activities with swimming.

Harmon said summer camps offer good activities for children, but this day camp offered the bonus of activities directed toward children with special needs. 

"We offer a variety of activities. Some are going to try the rock climbing wall. Some are kinda scared. We don’t push or challenge them too much," Harmon said, noting that many of the children would possibly change their mind regarding the climbing wall after seeing other children climb it. 

DeMarkco Stiger, the father of one of the campers, said he thought his son was enjoying camp.

"I think we need more activities like this for special needs kids. I was looking for a place to bring him. It is hard to find activities for special needs kids," Stiger said. 

Therapy 4 Kids offers occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy. Other sponsors helped provide funding for T-shirts, a bounce house and goody bags for the campers. 

(Staff writer Holly Latimer can be reached by e-mail at holly.latimer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)