Type of Submission

Poster

Keywords

Immersive learning, students with disabilities, service learning, inclusion, recreational opportunities, leadership, diversity awareness

Abstract

In many communities, there are few opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in engaging summer camp experiences. This poster will highlight one successful endeavor that provided this much-needed opportunity to children with disabilities. Little has been explored regarding how parents go about preparing their children for the camp experience that is to come; and few studies have documented the planning and preparation by camp staff. This presentation will explore one family’s efforts to prepare and support a child’s first venture into organized summer programming. At the same time, this presentation will detail the preparation (and surprising level of anxiety) of the staff that provided the camp as a service learning project. After careful selection and training, undergraduate students became day camp counselors for an immersive service learning experience where they planned and implemented a two-week day camp for schoolchildren with mild disabilities. Campers, counselor, and volunteers alike learned valuable social and academic enrichment skills during the camp experience, but did report mild to moderate anxiety associated with anticipating their involvement in the project. During the months preceding camp, journal and diary entries detail the ups and downs of camp preparation as well as the actual daily camp experience, describing the growth that occurred in both the campers and the counselors. These journal entries and practical suggestions for camp planning and camper preparation give voice to the camp experience through two perspectives – the camper/parent and the camp team.

Service learning can take many forms and serve diverse purposes and populations. This poster documents the process of combining service learning with the provision of summer camp experiences for underserved populations - an exciting venture! This particular service learning experience – an equestrian, art, and science camp – enabled college students to learn new skills, enhance leadership abilities, develop important personal attributes, and widen their understandings of diverse populations. The same project enabled this camper, and many others, to make new friends, develop recreational competencies, and take risks in a safe environment. Perhaps, though, the greatest benefit to all was that intangible, mysterious experience that everyone needs to discover from time to time – fun!

Campus Venue

Stevens Student Center

Location

Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-20-2016 11:00 AM

End Date

4-20-2016 2:00 PM

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

 
Apr 20th, 11:00 AM Apr 20th, 2:00 PM

Anxiously Anticipating! A Parallel Journey to an Art and Equestrian Camp for Children with Disabilities

Cedarville, OH

In many communities, there are few opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in engaging summer camp experiences. This poster will highlight one successful endeavor that provided this much-needed opportunity to children with disabilities. Little has been explored regarding how parents go about preparing their children for the camp experience that is to come; and few studies have documented the planning and preparation by camp staff. This presentation will explore one family’s efforts to prepare and support a child’s first venture into organized summer programming. At the same time, this presentation will detail the preparation (and surprising level of anxiety) of the staff that provided the camp as a service learning project. After careful selection and training, undergraduate students became day camp counselors for an immersive service learning experience where they planned and implemented a two-week day camp for schoolchildren with mild disabilities. Campers, counselor, and volunteers alike learned valuable social and academic enrichment skills during the camp experience, but did report mild to moderate anxiety associated with anticipating their involvement in the project. During the months preceding camp, journal and diary entries detail the ups and downs of camp preparation as well as the actual daily camp experience, describing the growth that occurred in both the campers and the counselors. These journal entries and practical suggestions for camp planning and camper preparation give voice to the camp experience through two perspectives – the camper/parent and the camp team.

Service learning can take many forms and serve diverse purposes and populations. This poster documents the process of combining service learning with the provision of summer camp experiences for underserved populations - an exciting venture! This particular service learning experience – an equestrian, art, and science camp – enabled college students to learn new skills, enhance leadership abilities, develop important personal attributes, and widen their understandings of diverse populations. The same project enabled this camper, and many others, to make new friends, develop recreational competencies, and take risks in a safe environment. Perhaps, though, the greatest benefit to all was that intangible, mysterious experience that everyone needs to discover from time to time – fun!

 

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