ASCCA names Dillard ‘camper of the year’

Published 1:06 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018

After 22 years of attending Alabama’s Special Camp for Children and Adults, Tim Dillard of Andalusia was named 2018 Camper of the Year.

“I started going to Camp ASCCA in 1996,” Dillard said. “It is really fun, because of all of the activities that we get to do.”

Founded in 1976, Camp ASCCA provides camping experiences for children and adults with disabilities. The activities offered at Camp ASCCA include horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, accessible waterslide, zip-line, water tubing, archery and rifle range, mini-golf course, paved nature trails, splash pad, and more.

The staff members choose the nominees for camper of the year based on what makes each person unique and how their summer experience was that year. There are a variety of qualities that are considered as the staff votes on each camper, for example, how much the camper enjoys the summer camp experience, the energy and happiness that he or she exudes, how they encourage other campers, friendliness, and overall enthusiasm.

“My favorite thing to do at camp is probably canoeing,” Dillard said. “But I always have fun doing everything there.”

Since he has been attending Camp ASCCA for 22 years, Dillard said that he is a veteran.

“I know all of the people there,” Dillard said. “It has always been fun for me, that is why I go back every year.”

Dillard said that he could not have gone to camp this many years in a row without the support system that he has.

“I have a great boss, my mom and dad, my brother Perry Dillard and my sister-in-law Stephanie Dillard,” Dillard said. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”

When Dillard isn’t at camp, he volunteers twice each week at the Andalusia Adult Activity Center.

“The center is great,” Dillard said. “It is a great opportunity to provide a service to the community and to get to meet people I wouldn’t know.”

The Camper of the Year Plaque was presented to Dillard at David’s Catfish House in Andalusia on Nov. 8. Dillard said that when Camp Director Matt Rickman started talking about the best camper of the summer, he knew that it was him.

“I knew that I was going to get the award,” Dillard said. “I mean I’ve just been going for so long and have a great time.”

As this year’s recipient, Dillard gets to attend the Camp ASCCA Christmas Weekend in December free of charge.

Camp ASCCA is open year-round. Within its barrier-free environment, Camp ASCCA offers 230 wooded acres on the shores of Lake Martin in Alabama. Camp ASCCA serves an average of 7,000 people annually.