Camp Royall: Better than the Beach

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This article was written for the 2016 Camp Chronicle, which will be posted online later this month and mailed to campers and their families. To learn more about ASNC’s Camp Royall, go to www.camproyall.org.

For Scott Lambeth, a day at Camp Royall is better than a day at the beach.

Scott, who is 40 years old, has come to summer camp at Camp Royall 16 times! His first summer was in 1999, when he was just 23 and had recently heard about the camp.

“It’s the place I want to take my vacation,” Scott said. “My parents go to the beach, and I want to go to camp.”

Scott said he really enjoys Music and Motion, but his favorite part of camp is “making new friends and getting to see old friends.”

Scott’s mother, Bettie Lambeth, said, “While everybody who knew Scott loved him his whole life, he didn’t really have a group to hang out with. Along with other things he does in Chapel Hill, Camp Royall has given him a group.”

IMG_7428.JPGScott lives in Chapel Hill and has long been UNC’s biggest fan, his mom said. “He loves everything Carolina and has his Carolina Blue room decorated with UNC posters, stickers, lamps, etc.” He works in the UNC mailroom with the support of a TEACCH job coach and wonderful co-workers, she said.

Scott also loves Special Olympics Orange County, and he has participated year round since 2008. He serves on training panels for TEACCH and is active with their social group.

“More than anyone I have ever known, he gives his best to everything he does, all the time,” Bettie said. “He has boundless enthusiasm, and a wonderfully positive attitude.”

Camp Royall Director Lesley Fraser agreed, calling Scott an “all-star camper.”

“Scott has been supporting our staff training for many years by participating in a panel of adults with high-functioning autism during our 10 days of staff training,” Lesley said. “Scott is a huge advocate for Camp Royall and is more than happy to arrange his busy schedule to attend each year. He makes sure to tell the counselors about what he loves most about camp – his answer is always “EVERYTHING!” – and the importance of the counselor’s role in making each week the best week ever for our campers.

“This year, Scott was on the waiting list for summer camp, and a spot just happened to open up the day before the panel was scheduled. I called Scott’s mom to check that Scott could attend, and asked if she wouldn’t mind if I told Scott about the opening during the panel, so that the new staff members would get to see his reaction.

“His face when I told him was priceless, and was more than any words could describe for the new staff what Camp Royall means to Scott,” Lesley said.

Bettie said, “Camp Royall is Scott’s favorite thing that happens all year long. It is his thing to look forward to every year, and he loves participating in the pre-camp panel each year. He feels very much a part of Camp Royall.”

We love having Scott be a part of Camp Royall, too!

“It’s a beautiful place, and everyone there does a great job running it,” Scott said. “It’s magical, there’s just something about it.

“It’s my favorite place on earth!”

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