First, our camp is more like a family vacation – it’s a day camp for the campers and we have lots of fun activities in the evenings for families (including s’mores by the campfire with Dr. Mooney!) He joins most of the night activities so it’s non-stop answers to your questions. Family can consist of mom and her sister, mom and dad and siblings, grandma and grandpa, mom for part of the week and dad for the other part of the week, etc. Anyway, while the kids are at camp, Dr. Mooney meets with the family members as a whole group and does presenta- tions for them to help them understand the diagnosis, the strengths and weaknesses associated with the diagno- sis, and discusses interventions for home and school. There is no extra charge for these presentations.
People come to us because we are the experts in NLD, but we want parents to go home at the end of the week feeling like THEY are the experts and know exactly what they should be doing to make life less of a struggle for the whole family.
What is amazing is that we get families from all over the world (Indonesia, Japan, England, Australia, Canada, and of course the U.S.). All of a sudden, all of these parents who feel that they are the only one in the world with a child diagnosed with NLD, well, they are all in the same room together with an expert who can answer all of your questions. What happens is nothing short of magical to be honest.
Okay so camp. Social skills are woven into every activity, from kayaking, to short hikes, campfire time, crafts, snack. These are all social opportunities to us. We also have a ‘special guest’ each camp day…sometimes a magi- cian (NOT dressed like a clown haha), we’ve had alpacas, a chemist who helps us tie-dye our camp t-shirts, even a team of huskies (everyone’s favorite)…the list goes on. In other words, the kids/teens have a blast and don’t really realize why they are there…but they do learn along the way.
Our goal is that not only does our camper have fun and learn new approaches for life, but that our camper’s family is also educated and that their confidence is built up – after all – you’re going to take care of our camper all year long until we see him/her again next year!
I hope that this has given you a little taste of what we try to accomplish at Camp Maple Leaf. Please feel free to email us with any specific questions and please check out our site.
Hope to see you this summer….