Let’s ALL Play: Benefits of Inclusive Brecksville Summer Camp for Kids
Ohio kids eagerly look forward to summer camp every year. It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather, make new friends and mentors, see cool places, learn new skills and leave with a treasure trove of memories. This year, emerging from a pandemic that has been especially difficult for families of kids who are differently-abled, summer camp is going to be extra special. At Therapy & Wellness Connection, we offer an inclusive Brecksville summer camp for kids of all ages and abilities. It’s more than just a benefit to the families of the patients we serve in speech, occupational, ABA and physical therapy. We truly believe that when we bring kids of all abilities together, everyone is better for it.
In the U.S., 1 in 7 kids has a developmental disability. Although the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits exclusion of a child from a summer camp program on the basis of disabilities, the truth of the matter is it can be difficult to find a summer camp you trust with your child.
We’re committed to creating a Brecksville summer camp that is not only dynamic and fun for all kids of all abilities, but that is therapist-led and helps keep all kids safe, engaged and learning.
Kids with disabilities should experience summer camp as fully and joyfully as their typically-developing peers. Research shows that when kids get a chance to participate in activities and games with their peers on a daily basis, they learn and develop both individual and teamwork skills. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that interactions in these non-academic settings are extremely important in promoting many positive outcomes for participants – including improvement of social skills, communication, self-esteem and, ultimately, social acceptance.
We also believe that typically-developing kids and teens benefit when they have an opportunity to participate with peers who face challenges. Schools, workplaces and communities are increasingly (and rightfully) becoming more inclusive of those with diverse abilities and skill sets. Laying a strong foundation for not just physical but social inclusivity when kids are young is important for everyone. Kids who are typically-developing learn more about tolerance, acceptance and what it means (and what it doesn’t) to have a disability. Many not only have a blast, they walk away with lifelong lessons, perspectives and friendships.
Because our camp weekly camp themes and activities are chosen and run by our therapists, we incorporate cooperative learning strategies and an inclusive learning environment. We adapt traditional games to ensure maximum involvement that can be geared toward all ability levels. The activities we plan are designed to foster social relationships, cooperation and personal achievement. We also have strategies in place to prevent and manage camper behaviors or other challenges. We have a high adult-to-camper ratio, plan for smooth transitions and know how best to respond if/when any issues do arise.
We’re committed to providing a safe, welcoming and positive environment for all campers. We know these past 18 months have been so hard on so many, so we’re especially looking forward to a bright summer.
Families can choose to sign up for just one week, a few weeks or join us for the whole season!
Weekly themes for 2021 are as follows:
- Week 1 (June 7-11) Around the World
- Week 2 (June 14-18) Glow
- Week 3 (June 21-25) Grow
- Week 4 (June 28-July 2) Fishing [lower levels] & Outer Space [upper levels]
- Week 5 (July 5-9) Bill Nye
- Week 6 (July 12-16) Nature & Me
- Week 7 (July 19-23) Carnival
- Week 8 (July 26-30) Under the Sea
- Week 9 (Aug. 2-6) Habitats & Farm Life
- Week 10 (Aug. 9-13) Water Week
- Week 11 (Aug. 16-20) Water Week
Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides inclusive summer camp opportunities for children in Akron, Cleveland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and surrounding communities. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.
Inclusive Camp: Making Summer Camp a Joyful Place for Everyone, Sept. 2017, American Camp Association, Camping Magazine
More Blog Entries:
Thrive & TWC 2021 Summer Camp Registration Now Open, March 15, 2021, Brecksville Summer Camp Blog