Clarks Summit Tae Kwon Do camp aims to empower special needs population


CLARKS SUMMIT — Pastor Rev. Brent Stouffer will host a free Summer Tae Kwon Do Camp for special needs children, adults, and their families and caregivers July 20-24 at Clarks Green United Methodist Church, 117 Glenburn Road. A children’s class for ages 6-12 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and an adult class for those 13 and older will start at 7:30 p.m.

“We were looking for something to do for the kids in the community,” Stouffer said. “With the many instances of bullying, I feel it’s a really positive way for the kids to build confidence in themselves and become more self-assured so they are less likely to be bullied, or to be able to stand up for themselves or seek help from an adult if they are bullied.”

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend both classes to observe and learn the correct way to use some of the exercises and drills in the home setting.

“We will explain how to do them properly and safely,” Stouffer said. “They can help improve brain development and coordination.”

Stouffer began a Tae Kwon Do outreach program at the church three years ago and it has been a big success. Thirteen of the earliest students were promoted to the level of black belt on Saturday, June 20. He is now aiming to introduce the martial arts techniques to another group.

“I hope to expose some of the special needs community to martial arts and show them anyone is capable of doing it,” Stouffer said. “I also hope the students will find something they can do all year long to improve themselves physically, spiritually, and mentally. Tae Kwon Do will help them build a strong character and help with their flexibility and memory.”

Stouffer, a fifth degree black belt, along with some of his black belt students will provide the instruction.

Stouffer believes the opportunity to meet new people through the sessions will also be beneficial to the campers.

“It’s been really nice to see friendships form through the (outreach) program that may not have developed otherwise because the kids have been training together for so long,” he said.

In addition to the camp, the church offers Tae Kwon Do classes for students from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays for adults.

For more information or to register for the camp, contact Stouffer at 570-585-1216 or pennmartkd@gmail.com.

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