Over the summer, the Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives and the Vanderbilt Kennedy University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities hosted the seventh annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp for kids with Williams syndrome. Williams’s syndrome is a rare genetic condition. Kids, like our Realabilities friend Venn, who has Williams syndrome, are characterized as having medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities as well as high verbal abilities, social personalities and an affinity for music. During the week-long camp, kids worked on creating their own country song, which they performed at the Grand Ole Opry at the end of the week. Throughout the week campers met real country music singers and songwriters including Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood. The campers also took part in research that will help Williams syndrome researchers gain a better understanding of the disorder. This year, the campers piloted a new social skills curriculum. This camp has been an “invaluable resource” for researchers while at the same time providing so much joy to the kids and the parents who participate. Read more about the camp here.