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Date modified17-Mar-13 04:40

Zonnekamp Swimming HD

This older slideshow contains some of the photos I made during the summer of 2010, when I followed and documented the activities of Zonnekamp.

Zonnekamp is an annual summer camp in Belgium especially for people with physical and mental disabilities (often both). A dedicated group of volunteers provide their guests with probably the best and most intense, fun-filled 10 days of the whole year.

The camp's website is here : zonnekamp.be/

I collected a wealth of lovely photos. Look here: http://roelh.zenfolio.com/p860901176.

One of the most special events, is when the camp goes swimming. Under normal circumstances, most of the guests are unable to ever go swimming together, because of lack of sufficient and properly trained staff to provide safety for a group of more than one or two swimmers. But Zonnekamp provides a volunteer for every guest in order to make this happen for the whole group together.

It truly is a sight to behold. One cannot maintain one's distance (emotionally nor physically) when viewing this, so I spent most of the time in the water with my camera, getting close to the action and the emotion.

After leaving the pool, some unrelated bystander came up to me, asking me (the intermediary) to express to the whole volunteer crew her feelings of admiration, and of gratitude for having witnessed such generosity and joy. I hope you will be equally moved.

The slideshow's music is the wonderfully appropriate (and just plain wonderful) song "Amongst the Waves" by Pearl Jam. I trust that Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron (and 'Boom' Gaspar) do not object to my use of their song for this worthy cause. I know they are the best of guys, so thanks.

(Lens/camera are ZD35-100mm on E3. Only ambient light. Please forgive me for some blur and/or noise in some of the images. This was shot in far from ideal lighting and other technical conditions.)