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Youth Challenge Celebrates 35 Years of Sports, Activities

The local nonprofit helps children with disabilities stay active, have fun and make friends.

For 35 years, has been bringing together teen volunteers and children with physical disabilities to stay active doing everything from rock climbing to camping to a wide variety of sports.

The nonprofit hosts free programs year-round for 150 kids and young adults in seven counties with the help of more than 400 volunteers.

The nonprofit is best known for its summer camps with sports in the morning and swimming at Peterson Pool in the afternoon. The camps draw 60-70 people to every Wednesday and Friday.

"We kind of pride ourselves on taking over the park," said Chris Garr, program manager.

Kids get the opportunity to camp, swim, boat, hike and more during the summer, Garr said, but they also participate in service activities and leadership exercises.

"Our name is Youth Challenge, so the idea (is that) you can do anything you want to with a little bit of help and a little bit of creativity."

To find out how you can help Youth Challenge, visit their website to donate or volunteer.

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