Camp PossAbility — Fast Facts

Mission: Camp PossAbility exists to give young adults with physical disabilities a week to empower the mind, body, and spirit with social enrichment, outdoor adventure, and emotional support.

Targeted Result: That young people with disabilities would see their potential and need to be an active part of society and would feel empowered to make a difference in the world around them

Target Audience: Young adults ages 18 to 35 with physical disabilities who have a typical high school diploma or equivalent.  All campers must have a physical impairment that requires a wheelchair for mobility.

Most Common Disabilities Served: Cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury

Exclusions: Autism, cognitive disabilities (other than mild), severe memory loss, combative behaviors, uncontrolled psychiatric disabilities, biting tendencies, ventilators, hospitalization within 30 days of camp, open wounds, or behaviors that are a high risk to others

Location: Bradford Woods, Martinsville, Indiana

Organization: 501(c)3, all-volunteer run

A Place to Overcome Obstacles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

I have a high school certificate but not a diploma. Do I still qualify for camp?
All campers who come to Camp PossAbility must have their high school diploma and have completed a traditional high school program. If someone wants special consideration, they may fill out our special consideration form (available on our registration page); however, that does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.
My friend was accepted for Camp PossAbility but I was not. Why?
As stated above, each application is considered on a case-by-case basis to determine the best fit of campers to the program. Spots are limited for Camp PossAbility so unfortunately not everyone who applies is able to get in.
I sent in my application form and payment but did not hear anything back. Does that mean I was accepted?
Applications are reviewed and processed when you send them. You should hear by early March whether or not you were accepted for the program. We will not be able to tell you until that time whether you were accepted or not.
So is there a better chance I will get accepted into camp if I just give my school name and graduation date but don’t specify a diploma?
All campers must bring a copy of their diploma with them to camp. If you are not able to submit one at that time, you will not be admitted to camp.
I have gone to Bradford Woods since I was a child. Why is the program changing now?

Camp PossAbility is an independent program. It is not owned or run by Bradford Woods or Camp Riley. Camp PossAbility is renting Bradford Woods as its facility for the camp. Admission to Camp PossAbility is not influenced by your previous experience at Bradford Woods, its adult camps, or other Bradford Woods experiences.

Does this camp only serve those who use wheelchairs?
All Camp PossAbility campers must use wheelchairs at least part time, although the majority of our campers use them full time. Other adapted devices–braces, arm prosthetics, walkers, canes, crutches, leg prosthetic(s), special straws or eating utensils, etc.–do not qualify you for our program unless you use a wheelchair for mobility at least part time as well.

Brief History of Camp PossAbility

Camp PossAbility was a dream of Lauren Harmison. Lauren started volunteering at adapted camps at age 17 with two weeks at Camp Red Cedar in Fort Wayne. Later, Lauren volunteered at Camp Barnabas in Purdy, Missouri, spending one camp week as a 1:1 volunteer and three weeks (over 3 years) as a camp nurse for Camp Barnabas’s adult camp.

When Lauren was in nursing school, she met Dustin Faurote, a local high school student who had had a recent spinal cord injury. Lauren wanted him to come to camp to have some new adventures after his injury but realized that most adapted adult camps were not a good fit.

Many camps exist for adults with disabilities but most focus on adults with cognitive delays with or without physical disabilities. Camps for young adults with high cognitive function did not seem to exist. Hence the idea for Camp PossAbility was born. Lauren searched many websites and talked to many different camps about their programs before realizing that she would have to create her own camp to make this dream a reality.

In 2013, Lauren began emailing every attorney in Fort Wayne she could find who might help her set up a 501(c)3. Kingsley Regnier in Fort Wayne volunteered and helped Lauren get Camp PossAbility off the ground.

In April 2014, Camp PossAbility was granted its non-profit status. A Board of Directors was then formed and plans for camp were put into place, with Bradford Woods being the desired location due to it’s accessibility options and easy access to an airport.

In 2015, Camp PossAbility had its first week of camp and the rest is history. The Board of Directors has changed a lot in the first few years of camp, but the vision of Camp PossAbility remains strong as the camp team is built.

Camp PossAbility is run 100% by volunteers and is funded by grants and donations. Camp PossAbility would not be what it is today without the help of our amazing team of volunteers and our vendors.

If you are looking for a place to belong, Camp PossAbility is your place! Come and join us!

Meet the Board for Camp PossAbility

Lauren E. Harmison

Lauren E. Harmison

Founder, Board Vice President, Camp CORE Team

Lauren received her Bachelor of Science degree in education and her Associate of Science degree In nursing from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). Lauren used many school experiences to learn more about those affected by disability. She has also done volunteer work giving respite care to families with children affected by disability, volunteering at adapted camps, helping families who had a recently disabled family member, and putting together fund raisers for young adults who were recently injured. Lauren spent several years working in area hospitals and also did pediatric home health care. She now runs Camp PossAbility from her home. Lauren’s hobbies include spending time with her husband Eric and daughter, playing the piano, reading (about anything medical or disability related), drinking coffee, and relaxing with friends. 

Melissa Witmer

Melissa Witmer

Board Secretary/Camp CORE Team

Melissa Witmer is a graduate of the University of St. Francis with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  She is currently employed at a local hospital.  Before working as an RN, she also worked as an army medic. Melissa is a packing expert and helps make sure Lauren does not lose anything or miss any details. Melissa also runs all registration, the camp store, and other organizational projects at camp. When Melissa is not working or helping with camp, she can usually be found drinking coffee, watching her favorite TV shows on Netflix, or getting together with her siblings.

Dr. Adam D. Keesling

Dr. Adam D. Keesling

Board President, Co-lead for Camp Medical Team

Adam received his undergraduate degree in Human Biology (BA) at the University of Kansas-Lawrence and then received a Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Kansas, as well. He completed his family medicine residency in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he became involved with Camp PossAbility. He currently resides in Arkansas City, Kansas, where he practices family medicine. Adam has an interest in medical missions and goes to the Dominican Republic at least once a year for medical mission trips. He also enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, bowling and KU Athletics. He greatly enjoys working with the campers, volunteers, and staff at Camp PossAbility.
Brian J. Hansen

Brian J. Hansen


Brian is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.  He has been the camp videographer since camp began in 2015.  He helps with many logistics and “behind the scenes” planning ideas and has taken on additional leadership roles as camp has grown.  Brian does extensive volunteer work including with White River Christian Church, David’s Well in Panama, and Camp PossAbility.  In his free time, you will most likely find him filming family videos or watching a marching band competition.

Additional CORE team members/advisors

Tyler Dale

Tyler Dale

Advisor/Camp CORE Team

Tyler Dale is best known for his role on the TV show American Restoration on The History Channel. He was hired to do a celebrity appearance at the very first Camp PossAbility auction and has been a part of Camp PossAbility ever since. When Lauren hired him for the first camp week, she expected him to hang out with everyone and be the “face of camp” in some pictures and videos. Instead, Tyler worked as a volunteer, doing anything the head staff needed, and became a fast member of the camp family. The following year, Tyler was moved to the camp CORE team to help RUN Camp PossAbility and now works entirely in a volunteer role. Tyler is the “jack of all trades” at camp doing everything from safety evaluations to wheelchair repairs to running programs and DJing. When not at camp, Tyler is most likely working, drinking coffee, helping rescue German shepherds, or working on his mini truck.

Eric Harmison

Eric Harmison

Advisor/Camp CORE Team

Eric Harmison is Lauren’s husband. While he says he joined the CORE Team initially by default, he is an amazing asset to the camp team. Camp would not happen if it were not for his amazing logistical and engineering skills that help keep the storage unit packed and organized, loaded into the rental truck, unloaded and reloaded at camp, and then put back in the storage unit. He also helps fix everything from feeding pumps to wheelchairs while at camp. There are many “behind the scenes” and logistical issues that Eric handles, and camp would not run smoothly without him. In his free time, Eric likes to work on DIY and home projects, read about boats, and relax with Lauren and their daughter.

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