University of Virginia Division of Prosthetics & Orthotics - Charlottesville, VA
Think that camp is only for kids? Don't tell that to Ed Hicks, one of the leaders behind
Adventure Camp, a camp for amputee children that is now going into its 34th year. It's all part of his goal to give back to the community in a meaningful way, something that permeates through both his work and personal lives.
Ed's camp serves amputee children between the ages of 6-18 – many of whom have never seen another amputee their own age. The spirit behind the camp reflects Ed's own beliefs: it's not about what can't be done; it's about exploring the possibilities. "These kids aren't different from anyone else," Ed observes. "Teambuilding, challenges, ziplines, swimming…they can do any of it and we don't tell them they can't." That's one reason why, he adds with a grin, parents aren't invited to attend.
Ed's camp has never turned an applicant down and often he'll work his community connections to raise the necessary funds to keep the camp running with as many kids as possible. And those community connections run deep because of his involvement with the Ruritans, a community service club. The Ruritans raise money for college scholarships and local ball clubs through community cookouts.
Ed finds his volunteer work with ABC to be a different type of challenge – one that, while less physical than cooking or camping, is far more academic and creative. Ed applauds ABC's use of computer-based testing which has sped up the certification process for everyone. He is also a big proponent of requiring more education to ensure high standards for the pedorthic profession. As a member of the ABC Pedorthic Exam Team, Ed is tasked with helping create test questions and offers an interesting twist on degree of difficulty. "It's not coming up with the correct answer that's the challenge," he says. "The hardest part is developing an incorrect answer."
For more information about
Adventure Camp, Inc. please