Camp Isola Bella

Isola Bella tower, almost 100 years old!

 Ever wonder how staff and service members from Hands On Hartford spend their weekends? Volunteering, of course!

On Saturday, May 12th, HOH staff, Americorps members, and Jesuit Volunteers had the opportunity to help prepare American School for the Deaf’s (ASD) Camp Isola Bella (IB) for campers in June.   This massive undertaking also included volunteers that hailed from Northwest Connecticut Community College, and the ASD community. 

IB is located on an island in the middle of the twin lakes in Salisbury, CT in the Northwest corner of the state. It seems worlds away, but is only an hour from the ASD campus in West Hartford. The camp offers a fun atmosphere for children from across the country with hearing impairments. The summer at IB offers an important opportunity for kids to continue to use what they learned in school, while gaining new skills and experiences from fun activities at camp.

The large grounds are a great location for camp, but require some

View from the bus!

maintenance before kids return for the summer; this is where the hard work of volunteers comes in handy.

Fortunately, Saturday was the perfect day to work outside, the sun was shining and it wasn’t too hot. Though it was easy to get distracted with startling views of the lake, volunteers worked diligently raking leaves, pruning, trimming low lying branches, chopping trees, weeding/mulching the flowerbeds, clearing the gutters, cleaning the camp house’s kitchen and cleaning up the beach.

Everyone was making great progress when the grill was fired up and the smells of burgers and hot dogs filled the air. A good old-fashioned summer barbeque was the perfect way for the 55 volunteers to take a lunch break and enjoy the sun. Then it was back to work for an hour or so until the tired crew was ready to get on the bus to head back to West Hartford.  Some of the families and students remained behind to fish while others donned their swim suits and splashed about in the water.

Thanks to everyone who made this a great Saturday, especially the kind staff at ASD and IB.

For more information about Camp Isola Bella visit: http://www.asd-1817.org/page.cfm?p=478

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