Well summer is quickly approaching and most parents look forward to the summer break even if it does include an extended school year program (E.S.Y). Warm weather, vacations on the beach, sleeping late and maybe an even more relaxed scheduled that doesn’t include speech, physical or occupational therapies, music lessons, doctor’s appointments, etc. Summer will be here before you know it and camps start filling up as early as January and February. However, most parents of special children just try to get through a week at a time, let alone thinking about what will your child do this summer.
Often camping or summer programs aren’t too inviting for special people because they aren’t designed for things that particularly interest special children. If your child is high functioning and enjoy local day camps, than you are very lucky, but many special needs children don’t get an opportunity to enjoy that camping experience due to health or physical limitations or they require one-on-one care. Many overnight and day camps just aren’t equipped to care for special people.
Melwood has been advancing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities for over 40 years. As part of their retreat center in Nanjemoy, MD. in Southern Maryland, they offer, Camp Accomplish. Camp Accomplish offers a day camp and also an overnight camp beginning in June.
The staff at Camp Accomplish has a very detailed application which enables you to indicate any special health, medical or dietary concerns that require extra attention. Parents can rest assured the Camp Accomplish staff is prepared and experienced for whatever emergency might arise and they know how to administer medicine, nebulizer treatments, and oxygen.
You can visit the camp by setting up an appointment. The staff can give you a complete tour and introduce you to the camping experience before sending your child there. The overnight camp was well worth the hour long trip to get there. You will also have peace of mind knowing that your child is not too far away, if the camping experience doesn’t work, it is certainly worth a try.
The camp offers an Equestrian center for therapeutic riding, a pool, club house, lake, etc., everything that you would find in a typical campsite, but this camp has a highly qualified staff that includes nurses, counselors, peers that enjoy spending time with children and terrific teens that assist and actually enjoy being at camp. One-on-one staffing was available with advanced notice.
Siblings are also welcome to enjoy Camp Accomplish.
The best part about the experience is that special kids at this camp get to do all the activities that most other kids get to do at camp too, but with extra supervision and one-on-one support. As a parent of a special child, we often are so protective of our children that we signficantly limit their exposure to “real life experiences”, and that is a disservice to our young people whether they are special or not.
Of course, your child’s first experience might be a little scary if your child has never been away from Mom and Dad, but the counselors and administration found that children really enjoyed the “freedom” from being away from home and being among other children their own age enables them to do things they normally wouldn’t get an opportunity to do. Long lasting friendships have been made at camps.
If you have had a good camp experience, please let me know at [email protected]
For more information, please check out the link. http://www.melwoodrecreation.org/