Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) In the Camp Environment

Camping and leisure activities are important for all of us, including individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This webinar will begin to identify the benefits of having children with ASD and their peers in an inclusive camp setting. We will explore how a camper with ASD might think and introduce a practical peer program called “PAWSS” to support the social interactions at camp. Strengths and challenges of serving campers with ASD will be problem solved and myths will be discarded.

Through this webinar, participants will learn:

Inclusive Camp

Have you seen the powerful 2008 documentary film, Including Samuel? It's the heartwarming and compelling story of a boy named Samuel who was born with cerebral palsy and how his family and friends work to ensure he is included in every facet of life (Habib, 2008). Samuel's dad, Dan Habib, is a talented photojournalist, and his remarkable film will inspire you to champion social inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream camp and school programs. I encourage you to watch it and share this powerful teaching tool with others.

Summer Fun for Youth of All Abilities

With summer approaching, parents and camps alike are making plans for terrific, fun opportunities for young campers to learn new skills and grow in their confidence and abilities. The United States Attorney’s Office wants to take the opportunity to increase the understanding of camp organizers and parents about the law that pertains to camps which ensures that all children are welcome, including those with disabilities, and has been sharing the following information in many states.  

How Special Needs Camping Has Impacted the Camp Experience

"Camping is an activity that has been embraced by humanity because it's fun and it brings people, especially families, together," said Dr. Tom Zellers, a professor of pediatric cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and camp doctor. "For children with chronic illnesses, camp has often been forbidden because of the risks and physical challenges it presents. At [special needs] camps, however, children with medical problems, who are sheltered by their family and may be the only child with their type of medical problem in their family, neighborhood, or community, are brought together.

Children with Cancer: Positive Benefits of Camp

Since childhood cancer has evolved from an inevitably fatal illness to a life-threatening chronic disease, children with cancer receive many positive benefits by participating in a camp experience. These children can have a variety of limitations, but first and foremost, they are still children — and want to be treated the same as children without cancer with opportunities to run, play, swim, and enjoy being with other kids.

Behavior Management That Works! Effective Strategies for Campers with Special Needs

Managing youth behavior is a challenge for many youth program providers and a significant source of stress for directors and staff who are not prepared. This webinar provides specific strategies for effectively managing camper behavior with an emphasis on the needs of campers with different abilities. The translation of strategies for staff training will be stressed.

Participants will learn:

Let's ALL Play: Helping to Make Inclusion in Summer Camps a Success

For nine months of the year, children spend most of the day in school, and when the bell rings for the final time in June, most cannot wait for summer to start. During the summer, children are free from daily class schedules and get to spend most of their time just having fun. Some get to spend the summer hanging out with neighborhood friends, others might play on a community sports team, and many even get the chance to go to summer camp.