Angela Cox, director at Camp Stand By Me. Photo: Lisa Bryan, KP News

Angela Cox, once a counselor at Easterseals Camp Stand By Me, recently became the new camp director.

With 14 years of experience in the disability services area, Cox has put in many years in various capacities for Easterseals Washington, including two as camp counselor at Camp Stand By Me.

“Angela is passionate about empowering children and adults with disabilities to reach their full potential,” said Easterseals Washington President and CEO Cathy Bisaillon. “She understands the incredible impact of respite breaks for caregivers.”

Cox’s mother was a special education teacher. Cox spent some time in her classes and has several cousins with disabilities.

She received her certification in assistive technology and augmentative communication from the California State University at Northridge. This specialty allows people with disabilities to communicate more easily through the use of computers and adaptive devices.

“Returning to Camp Stand By Me is like coming back home,” Cox said. “The work that I did here in my previous positions ignited my passion for therapeutic recreation, and now I am honored to lead our amazing employees and volunteers to serve children and adults in this beautiful setting.”

Easterseals Camp Stand By Me has been an inclusive, barrier-free environment for children and adults with disabilities to experience all the joys of camp without limitations since 1974. Camp includes swimming, riding horses, singing, art and more. 

Regular sessions with a low camper-to-counselor ratio are offered for nine weeks each summer. About half of the counselors are international and many return for a second year.

Many campers also return year after year.

Weekend respite camps are held once or twice per month from September through May. These give caregivers of special needs children and adults a time for themselves. The weekend camp gives the special person the opportunity to have time with strangers and often one session will lead to more.

One mother said that leaving her adult children at the camp saved her marriage, as it was the first times they’d ever been away from relatives.

Camp Stand By Me is the only Easterseals campground in Washington. Some campers come from states that do not have a similar facility.

Community volunteers help keep the camp going, although more would be welcome, Bisaillon said. Organizations, companies and individuals can adopt a building or a particular program to which to contribute time, materials or other assistance.

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