Local Children Help Design All-Inclusive Playground in Monroe County


Tannersville, PA No matter their age or their ability, everyone loves to have fun and play! Winners of the Crossing Abilities Playground Design Contest were announced during an awards ceremony on Saturday, June 2 at Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark.

Crossing Abilities is a Pocono Alliance project to build Monroe County’s only all-inclusive playground, where children of all abilities can play alongside each other. In an effort to increase awareness for the playground project, Camelbeach and Pocono Alliance partnered to promote the unique design contest. Monroe County children ages 3-16 were asked to design their ideal, all-inclusive playground for the contest. While many children submitted colorful designs drawn on poster boards, other children chose to create their designs with Legos, modeling clay and computerized designs. Ideas from all the entries may be used as part of the final playground design.

“The contest was an outreach project, to educate the community about the playground and why inclusion is such an all-important part of play. We are pleased because the contest brought in a large number of entries from talented children,” said Ken Van Camp, Crossing Abilities, Design Committee Chair.

Approximately, sixty entries were submitted for the contest. All of the entries were judged on artistic design, originality, and inclusion. The contest was judged in three age groups: 3-8, 9-12, and 13-16. The winner in each age group won two season passes to Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, and three runners-up in each age group each won two single-day passes to Camelbeach.

Kyle Besecker, age 6 from Stroudsburg, won the 3-8 year old category, Bianca Lorusso, age 11 from East Stroudsburg, won the 9-12 year old category and Cristina Sanzi, age 13 from East Stroudsburg won the 13-16 year old category. Winning entries and runner-up submissions are on display at Camelbeach this summer, as well as on the Crossing Abilities website at www.crossingabilities.org.

“Camelbeach is proud to partner with such a wonderful community effort,” said Charles Blier, General Manager/Executive Vice President at Camelback Mountain Resort.

Along with the partnership from Camelbeach, Crossing Abilities also received support in promoting the contest through free advertisements by the Pocono Record, Flair Magazine, and FOX 56 TV.

Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark has 37 slides and attractions, which makes Camelbeach the largest Waterpark in PA & NJ! There is so much new going on this year including a new 4000’ Zip Flyer that soars from the top of the mountain over the Waterpark and a 4500’ steel rail mountain coaster that twists and turns as you careen down the mountain! Both of the new attractions are open all year – proving Camelback Mountain Resort ensures action, adventure and excitement 365 days a year.

Pocono Alliance’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Monroe County by identifying human service needs and working towards solutions. Pocono Alliance has four coalitions; Education, Health, Housing and Transportation; that serve as the table in which representatives from local agencies, education systems, government and service providers in our community identify human service needs, assist with program development and deliver services in Monroe County. For more information, visit Pocono Alliance’s website at www.poconoalliance.org or call 570-517-3953.