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Loved Without Limits

Published on May 05, 2023


“Because we have made the commitment to serve EVERY coach and athlete, I believe God is sending us opportunities to do so. God is being faithful in doing His part to help us fulfill that commitment; now, it's our turn to fulfill the mission of leading every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.” —Tristan Griffin, FCA Akron Area Director

The seed for an All Ability camp was planted in the heart of FCA Akron Area Director Tristan Griffin when his daughter, Scout, was born with a disability in March 2018.
Tristan and his wife, Melanie, learned what it looked like to serve Scout as they stepped into the disability community. They recognized the disability community is often underserved in two places: the church and sports. As FCA staff, they began dreaming about a camp that could bless and care for other children like Scout. The Griffins began to pray and research groups that worked with people with disabilities.

Last July, the Griffins helped lead FCA to partner in its first All Ability Sports Camp in Akron, Ohio. Numerous organizations, such as the Special Olympics, Youth Challenge and Akron’s local children’s hospital, helped host the camp. Campers ages 2 to 27, all with disabilities, signed up as athletes. All were accepted, pursued and loved.

Strategic adjustments were made.

Every camper was assigned a buddy who participated in the activities, ate meals and had fun with them. Occupational and physical therapists, nurses and speech therapists were also on hand. Volunteer training EYh8Fblcincluded tips for communicating, easing transition anxiety, and working with campers who had specific diagnoses. A mobile sensory bus was on-site if campers became overstimulated and needed a place to calm down.

The camp was magical as 71 campers with disabilities, 180 volunteers and 31 sponsors participated. There was no cost, which enabled any family with a child with a disability to sign up.

“These parents of children with special needs are not used to seeing this,” Northern Ohio Director Robert Kilo said. “It was an amazing display of God’s love, and I’m so glad we could be a part of it.”

Tristan and Melanie hope to see this vision of All Ability camp expanded throughout all of FCA as it reaches every coach and athlete for Christ.

Watch a video about this All Ability camp!

Get details about 2023 FCA Camps and find an event near you!


Photos courtesy of Stephanie Lyell