MONKTON, Maryland (CBS) A unique camp in Maryland brings together a group of kids with similar differences.
Deep in the woods of Monkton, Maryland, Sophia Mortenson and Maddie Bynion are on a mission to conquer an obstacle course. "It's hard but I still do it," Sophia said. The two friends enjoy a good challenge.
Camp Open Arms is a camp for children who have limb differences. Mortenson was born without a critical bone in her left arm. Bynion is missing her left hand.
"It's pretty hard because I just want to be seen, not that I'm different," Bynion said.
"Just because we're a little bit different doesn't mean we can't do things you guys can do," added Mortenson.
Doctor Joshua Abzug is an orthopedic surgeon and director of pediatric orthopedics at University of Maryland Children's Hospital. He created the camp five years ago to provide a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment."We really see that children with a limb difference are affected well beyond the physical difference they have," he said. "You see the physical side and we don't always spend a lot of time discussing the emotional side."
The camp started with six children. Now there are more than 30 campers. "Our long term goal is to just give back to these children and their families," Dr. Abzug said.
"Without this camp I don't think she would have a community of people she could see herself in," said Carissa Mortenson, Sophia's mother.
Campers are also encouraged to support and learn from each other. "Sometimes you see kids with things that are worse than yours and you are like, 'Oh, wow, my problem isn't really that big of a deal,'" Bynion said
Mortenson and Bynion formed their camp bond a few years ago. Now they attend every year. The friends plan to keep coming back and eventually serve as counselors so they can give back what camp has given them.
It's estimated that 1,500 children are born with limb differences every year in the U.S.