Special Needs Camps

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Special Needs Camps

by Sam7880 » 25 Apr 2007, 20:10

This is camp.
A special needs camp is a place like no other. This is an experience far beyond ‘cultural exchange,’ and ‘seeing America’ - it is powerful and will leave you with a sense of doing something unbelievably good.

I have worked at Camp Loyaltown for 6 years (this summer). My experience started with me, a fresh-faced high school graduate, looking for the summer of a lifetime. Cliché maybe, but that’s why I picked Camp America. At the recruitment fair in Edinburgh I was overwhelmed with camps, each unique; each fantastic. But one stood out. A family orientated camp for children and adults with special needs. Not my first choice or indeed a choice I originally wanted to make at all. Having no experience with this community I felt I would be out of my depth; no hope; no use. But, I talked to the staff and the returners and felt reassured. I could do this. I could be part of something really quite special.

Writing this now I laugh at my initial reserved approach, for you see, Loyaltown became not just one great summer, it became my life. There is rarely a day passes where I don’t think of camp with a nostalgic smile and ponder what experiences I’ll take on this year, who I’ll meet and what escapades will unfold over the 9 weeks. Now, I don’t wish to sound like I’m writing an Enid Blyton novel here; it’s not all lashing of ginger beer and fresh baked macaroons. A special needs camp is tough.

There is no getting away from this fact. You will work considerably harder than most and you may find the experience more tiring than others. But believe me, every second is worth it. During my second summer I worked closely with a child who could not hold a fork. I spent two weeks with him and by the time he left he was not only using his fork, but could cut his food into small pieces by himself. This is camp. This is why I and the thousands of returners are flying back out to special needs camps this summer; this is what we do – this is why we love it. A rare cuddle from a child with autism, a high 5 from a camper who doesn’t like new surroundings, being part of the joke with a group of kids who only interact with themselves. This is camp.

You will find that as a person you suddenly become more aware of your surroundings and the amazement and sheer joy which can be found in any situation. Who would have thought that putting on a jumper the right way would warrant a cheer and a high 5; who would believe that being able to shape a lump of clay into another equally bizarre shape would bring smiles and laughter? It’s not about what you do - it is how you do it. Memories are made in the blink of an eye but last a lifetime more.

I hope you all have a great summer!

Sam Farmer
Camp Loyaltown 2002 – forever!
Posts: 27
Joined: 13 Apr 2007, 13:18
Location: Cambridge

by Lynda6858 » 02 May 2007, 19:40

Hey im going to Atlantic City going to work with the Guided Tours Seashore programme. Its a company who organise independant vacations for adults with learning difficulties. Im sooooo excited its gonna be my first time at camp it will be hard work but really rewarding too.

Posts: 23
Joined: 19 Mar 2007, 20:46
Location: Scotland (Edinburgh)

camp Albretch Acres!!

by Rebecca7907 » 28 Apr 2008, 21:04

Camp Albretch Acres is also a special needs camp for people aged 2-99! I can't wait! It's the adults i'm looking forward to working with the most. I'm sure its going to be so tiering but so worth it! I'm currently a support worker for adults with learning dissabilities so I'm hoping that some of the experience I already have will help a little bit. I really want to here from someone who has been to this camp before or someone who is going this summer so feel free to get in touch! roll on 6th June!!x
Posts: 2
Joined: 02 Apr 2008, 21:14

Re: camp Albretch Acres!!

by lucy6120 » 27 Mar 2013, 18:02

Rebecca7907 wrote:Camp Albretch Acres is also a special needs camp for people aged 2-99! I can't wait!

May I ask, how was the camp? I thinking about working at a special needs camp!
Posts: 2
Joined: 02 Feb 2013, 14:44

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