Climbing for campers

March 22, 2012

Eric RocheThis summer, academic adviser Eric Roche will climb 20,320 feet above the Alaskan wilderness to make sure six students have some adventures of their own at UW-Whitewater.

Roche is embarking on a three-week fundraising expedition to climb Mount McKinley, North America's highest peak. The money will help six students with learning and physical disabilities who attend two of UW-Whitewater's specialized summer camps.

"I felt that if I was going to do unique things that required physical capability, I really wanted to help others who can't be as free as I am to do those things," Roche said.

Roche is adviser of "Everybody's Business," a UW-Whitewater Learning Community consisting of business students. They came up with the idea to raise money for campers by creating a program called Camp Dreams, which encourages civic engagement as part of UW-Whitewater's mission. 

Since February, Roche and his students have raised more than $3,200 and are striving to meet or exceed their goal of $4,000.

Camp Dreams will fund scholarships to two separate camps at UW-Whitewater. Authentic Voices of America Camp is a weeklong summer camp that helps individuals with severe speech impairments improve communication skills using augmentative and alternative communication devices. Wheelchair Basketball Camp helps campers gain self-esteem and self-determination through basketball and other activities.

Participating campers will have the chance to visit one of the most accessible campuses in the country, socialize with other students and experience campus residential life.

To view personal stories of the campers who will be attending this summer or to make a donation, visit Camp Dream's website at


Sara Kuhl

Jeff Angileri