This post is by Serena Selkin, Grants Manager and Nora Rubovitz, Assistant Director, Family Services Projects.
On Monday, July 10, Serena Selkin, Grants Manager and Nora Rubovitz, Assistant Director, Family Services Projects, had the chance to meet up with Mitzvah Corps at Kutz, one of the camps funded through the Baker Summer Camp Scholarship Program. The Baker Summer Camp Scholarship Program provides funds to camps across the country to distribute to families in need so that their child with ASD can attend camp.
Mitzvah Corps at Kutz provides an overnight inclusion-based camping experience within a teen-oriented overnight summer camp. Campers have the choice of attending up to 3 1-week sessions. Located in Warwick, NY, The Mitzvah Corps Program has been serving teens with Autism for over 20 years. Initially the program was a self-contained program where campers with ASD participated in a parallel camp program and joined the larger camp community for meals and certain all camp programs. As the years went on the program and camp became increasingly aware of the need for inclusion as it offers important growth and development for everyone in the community. In the past five years they have moved into a full-inclusion model where campers are involved in all aspects of the community. One of the most innovative an successful aspects of the Mitzvah Corps Program, is the peer mentorship program. Peer-mentors choose to attend Kutz in order to learn more about ASD, social action, special needs inclusion, and to spend time with the Mitzvah Corps community.
Mitzvah Corps at Kutz had planned a fun-filled day in New York City, and when we caught up with the group, they were touring the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY. We got to hang out with the wonderful campers, peer mentors, and staff at the museum as they learned about the history of film from its inception to today. From making their own stop motion animation clips, to studying video cameras from the turn of the century, starring in their own video flipbooks, and more; the day was filled with exploration and fun.
Autism Speaks has a number of resources for the young adult and adult population! These include: Our Transition Tool Kit, a guide for families as they journey from adolescence to adulthood, the Housing and Residential Supports online web portal and tool kit, and Autism in the Workplace, which highlights success stories of individuals with autism at work. Go to our Family Services page to find lots more!
Campers making their own video flipbook!