This summer, we were excited to offer day camps in four Eastern NC locations for the first time. Campers ages 4-22 enjoyed swimming, arts and crafts, gym time, and all of the typical camp activities in Greenville, Wilmington, Carteret County, and Brunswick County. “It’s great,” said one camper. “At this camp, we have pool time every day. I usually have my own goggles for underwater. They’re orange.”
Just like at Camp Royall, many campers made friends for the first time. “We want them to feel love for who they are,” said Sara Gage, Social Recreation Services Director. “We like to provide an environment that understands them and gives them the opportunity to flourish just as they are.” The camps are part of an array of Social Recreation programs made possible by funding from Trillium Health Resources. This initiative will support children and adults with autism through programs in underserved areas of the state, helping them to improve their social and communication skills, peer networks, and physical wellbeing. Summer Day Camp served 87 campers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays this summer with a counselor-to-camper ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 based on self-help and behavioral needs.
“My son is so grateful for this opportunity. He has made many new friends and has created many wonderful memories.” Elaina Wingfield said her 6-year-old son, Marshall, had not been able to attend other camps. “He was the kid the other kids didn’t really want to play with or that the staff treated differently, even if they weren’t trying to.” But at the Greenville camp, “He’s just Marshall. He’s really great, Minecraft-loving, teddy beartoting Marshall,” she said. “This is the first place he’s ever been that he wants to come back every day.” “It has truly been a blessing to our family,” said another camper’s mom. “My son is so grateful for this opportunity. He has made many new friends and has created many wonderful memories.”
The Afterschool Programs opened this fall at our Eastern NC centers and currently serve about 75 individuals with autism, providing much-needed support for working families. The programs run from 2:30 to 6:30 each school day, with transportation from schools. Children take part in enriching and engaging activities in an environment that is designed to meet their needs.
Upcoming Programs Adult Social Groups: This January, we are starting some social groups and social skills learning for adults on the spectrum at our centers. Registration for these programs will be ongoing. Summer Camp: Registration will open at https:// srp.campbrainregistration.com in March for the Greenville, Wilmington, Carteret County, and Brunswick County locations. Want to help? If you would like to volunteer or donate items at one of the locations, please contact us. g For more information, please go online to www.autismsociety-nc. org/socialrecreation or contact the director for your area: Greenville: SRP_Greenville@autismsociety-nc.org Wilmington: SRP_Wilmington@autismsociety-nc.org Brunswick: SRP_Brunswick@autismsociety-nc.org Carteret County: SRP_Carteret@autismsociety-nc.org
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