Who remembers having a tremendous summer camp experience? I certainly do. I was ten years old when I tasted freedom for a week alongside my best friend. It was summer church camp and by-golly I had a blast eating candy I purchased at the on- site store, talking for hours with my new friends on the bunk beds, and even unsuccessfully trying out for the talent show. I couldn’t wait for the following summer, and the following, and the following. To this day, those friends hold a special place in my heart.
It’s easy to see the benefits of summer camp. The taste of freedom provides a safe place for children to practice mostly independent self-care, problem solving, and decision making. The heaps of social time provide a space to forge lasting friendships. The recreation and leisure activities expose children to new adventures. If your child attends a camp for students with disabilities or blindness, it provides unique social benefits and training in the expanded core curriculum.
And a successful camp experience, well that provides soaring confidence.
So if your son or daughter is upper-elementary age or above, I suggest:
- gathering information on summer camps,
- talking with your social network (teacher of students with visual impairments, local clubs and organizations including a place of worship, your state’s school for the blind, etc.) to learn about recommended camps,
- looking at FamilyConnect’s list of agencies providing summer day and overnight programs, and
- reading blogger Audrey Demmitt’s accounts of attending camp as a visually impaired child and working as a summer camp nurse.
Consider encouraging your child to make this summer one ripe with memories, independence, and adventure.