First Tee – GCNKY was honored to partner with SCRATCHgolf to deliver our Golf and Life Skills Program to kids/teens with Congenital Heart Defects and Disease and children identified as at risk of heart disease. Each summer since 2016, we host a 3 day camp for SCRATCHgolf kids/teens who then participate in our Golf and Life Skills program and can return to our programs through high school!
The SCRATCHgolf camp mission is to help congenital heart defect kids and children identified as at risk for future heart disease socially, mentally and physically through golf. The goal is to meet new friends, take a mental break from medical issues and learn some important life lessons through golf.
In 2016, the Children’s Heart Association of Cincinnati took on one of their Trustee’s, Spencer Timmel, dream of SCRATCHgolf. Spencer, an avid golfer and dad to Charlie, who was born with a heart defect, saw a need for these kids to have a safe outlet to be active and healthy. He saw SCRATCHgolf as a way for kids who sometimes have difficulty finding friends or have learning problems and kids who are prevented from high-cardio or full contact sports to have a positive outlet to learn a sport they can safely play for the rest of their lives and build a network of family and friends experiencing the same issues.
The kickoff to SCRATCHgolf also gave Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center the opportunity to conduct research to measure how light physical activity improves the physical health of patients with congenital heart defects and also how physical and team activities can improve their mental health. And this proved to have great results.
The Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s continues to promote this program to eligible patients and over 60 kids have taken part in SCRATCHgolf camps and First Tee – GCNKY classes. SCRATCHgolf has proven successful over their 5 years with our chapter and is now expanding to other cities in the U.S.
We are thankful for our good friends Spencer, Erin, Charlie and Ella Timmel for trusting our organization with this special program.
For more information on the golf camp and for eligibility questions, please visit golf camp website at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.