Blog by Beth Weiner, Camp Director of Camp Good Times in Charleston, South Carolina, which received a grant last year:
The 2011 session of Camp Good Times of Charleston, a recipient of an Autism Speaks Baker Summer Camp Scholarship Fund, was activity oriented, fun, child centered, and safe for the 130 children who attended this past June.
Our camp includes not only children on the autism spectrum, but neurotypical peers who come to camp, have fun, be campers and friends with everyone. The highlights from our 12 days include…swimming everyday, field trips to area water parks, malls and movies, a visit from a Therapy Dog group, Spray Play with the local firefighters(which was really cool!), The OT class from The Medical University of South Carolina joined our staff for a day, a “Valentines Day” party, summer solstice party for our younger campers and parents, Yo-Music, a blend of Yoga and Music, art, sports, computers, singing and dancing, piñata party, pizza and the campers favorite part of the day…SNO_CONES!
Below are some of the individual campers who benefited from the Autism Speaks Baker Summer Camp Program grant:
Four of the children who attended live in a group home. The three girls, Jen, Dee Dee, and Monique have been in a residential group home for girls with ASD for as long as I have known them. Ahmad has been a camper for many years, and has only recently been placed in a group home run by the same organization.
I was fortunate to be able to offer the Baker Summer Camp Scholarship opportunity to these children, since other public funding was not available and they would not have come to camp with out it. Two of the campers who attended through the generosity of Autism Speaks had to have their own personal assistant due to medical needs. These families were able to get financial assistance for the medically necessary aides, but there was no funding left for the camp fees.
I know these families want their child to have a typical summer camp experience and the respite provided them was much needed. The Baker Summer Camp Scholarship was able to provide that. The other campers and families also have challenges throughout the school year. I have gotten to know these families very well, all of the camp families, and the fun experience that Camp Good Times provides their child and the respite provided the families is what they value.
For more info and pics…visit www.campgoodtimesofcharleston.org!