Camp Cole celebrated its grand opening ceremony at its new facility in Eastover Thursday morning.
The nonprofit organization serves children and adults with disabilities, illnesses and other life challenges.
"We are just beyond overwhelmed with gratitude, it is incredible to see Camp Cole come to life," said Kelsey Sawyer Carter, co-founder and executive director of Camp Cole. "We've always said it was built by the community, for the community, so now it is time for Camp Cole to serve our community."
The 40-acre facility located just outside of Columbia broke ground less than one year ago. The facility will sleep 200 campers overnight where they will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities. The first group of 75 campers will come to Camp Cole Jun. 16.
"They’re going to have a week full of kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, swimming, riding horses, arts and crafts, the list goes on and on and we are thrilled beyond belief," said Carter.
Camp Cole is equipped with a medical care facility designed by Prisma Health Children’s Hospital health care professionals.
"We have equipment and supplies that really caters to individual groups and deserving campers," Carter said. "So that’s what allows us to tackle some populations cancer, cerebral palsy, heart and kidney disease, craniofacial differences, spina bifida, epilepsy, tourette's, autism and others."
Additional features of the campgrounds include a welcome center, café, staff cabins and an art room and gym which will be complete in the near future.
Carter expressed her gratitude for community support throughout the process of bringing the vision of Camp Cole to life. "Thank you to everyone who has supported and believed in our mission and calls Camp Cole their camp home," said Carter.
Additional information about Camp Cole is available online.