Victory Lane Camp relies heavily on the dedication of several teams of volunteers, called Pit Crews. As VLC expands, the need for new Pit Crew members increases. Audrea Thatcher and Nancy Wadman are part of VLC Pit Crews. Let’s hear their stories:
As the mother of a child with special needs, Audrea Thatcher understands the need for support and outreach. “When I was raising my daughter, I just didn’t feel like there was enough support out there for people. I just would like to make a connection with the families of kids with special needs.”
Audrea is retired from the State Police but keeps busy doing art classes at nursing homes and substitute teaching in schools. Her high-functioning daughter, Mary, is grown and working in her adult life. Now Audrea is seeking ways to get involved and give to others who are experiencing what she did while raising Mary.
“It had to be a God thing. I just could not get the families with special needs off of my mind,” shared Audrea. She brought her concern for outreach to her minister and his wife. Having been involved with camp before, the Buskirks pointed Audrea in the direction of Victory Lane Camp.
Audrea jumped right in and joined the Event Planning Pit Crew. She’s been to one meeting and one event, and she’s working on finishing her training. She wants to continue to see activities for kids with special needs take place.
“I was really impressed with the tethered balloon rides. There are so many activities that ‘normal people’ do that people assume kids with disabilities can’t do. I’d like to see more activities like that,” expressed Audrea. “It’s easy to overlook the fact that kids who have special needs are just like everyone else. I like to see events that might normally be out of their comfort zones, but they would enjoy doing.”
Nancy Wadman spent 39 years teaching sixth grade. She has since retired, but enjoys working with kids and volunteering.
Nancy’s connection with Victory Lane Camp comes through knowing Brett and Paige Fischer. Nancy also helped her church serve meals at camp.
“I have heard Brett talk, and I’m really taken with the philosophy of serving the whole family and not just the child,” Nancy explained. “It takes the whole family, and you really have to work with all of them to make life happy for the child.”
For now, Nancy prefers the idea of staying behind the scenes on the Finance Pit Crew. “I’m trying to help in the best way I can. That’s being on the Finance Pit Crew right now,” she shared.
But she hopes to continue to see growth. Nancy expressed, “I would like to see more people in the community become active and involved. There’s still lots of room for local people to get involved and realize how important it is. We’re working hard on extending throughout the state and hopefully someday out of state. It certainly has a future of growing.”
Victory Lane Camp is made up of many moving parts with several options for places to plug in. If you are looking for a way to become involved in VLC, consider joining a Pit Crew and contact Tiffanny at 765-591-4191 for more information.