Camp No Limits reaches for the stars

A student learns how to drive a simulated vehicle.

Learning life skills

Quinnipiac hosted a multi-day camp this month for youth with limb loss and limb differences for the fourth year. Here, a Quinnipiac student teaches a camper how to use a driving simulator on the North Haven Campus.

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he smile sprinted across Samantha Clift’s face. There were no false starts or false hopes here.

As teens from several states ran, wiggled and jumped through a grassy obstacle course on the North Haven Campus, Clift ’19 soaked up this wonderful moment.

The silly laughter, the squeals of joy — the optimism was everywhere at this new segment of Camp No Limits designed especially for teens with limb loss and limb differences.

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“I love seeing kids with similar differences bonding, making friends and having a great time,” said Clift, an occupational therapy major from Massachusetts who lost her right hand in an accident when she was 6 years old.

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Teenagers participate in Camp No Limits.

Making a tangible difference

A 3D scan is conducted of a camper's leg. The scans will be used to create custom sleeves for campers' prosthetics.

“Making that connection with other kids,” Clift said, “and realizing you’re not the only one — there are tons of people who have limb loss and live perfectly normal lives — you see there’s nothing you can’t do. Just knowing that is comforting. That’s what is so great about this camp.”

For the fourth straight summer, Quinnipiac is hosting Camp No Limits. This year’s camp runs through Sunday. For kids with limb loss and limb differences, Camp No Limits gives them the chance to make friends, have fun, try new things, learn new skills and, yes, laugh. A lot.

School of Health Sciences

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“Camp No Limits really gives us a sense of community,” said Kim Hartmann, a professor of occupational therapy and director of the Center for Interprofessional Healthcare. “Everyone just comes together and makes these incredible bonds. That’s the biggest reward that people feel.”

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A professor works with a teen with limb loss.

Sharing life skills

Samantha Clift '19, an occupational therapy major who overcame limb loss, practices her balance.

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For Clift, one of dozens of occupational therapy and physical therapy students partnering with the campers, the experience is about paying it forward.

“My parents instilled in me that I should never give up, and going to occupational therapy really helped with that,” Clift said. “My OT had one hand, too, so that’s what made me want to be an occupational therapist. If she could help teach me, I knew I could do it for other people, too.”