A very important outcome of participation in Summit Camp is the range of support that families receive. Campers are the significant focus of our efforts, but great energies are also directed to their parents. During the preparation for camp each summer and once on session there are numerous contacts that are made – from our nightly newsletters and posted photos on our website to the regular email conversations that parents enjoys with their child’s unit leader, members of our administration, conversations with member of our health center staff, and even with each other.
Several years ago we began a Facebook community for our camper parents. Over the years it has grown to be an important contact and support point for our camper parents. It has included very basic details and information to suggestions for therapists to even ideas for after secondary school programs. Here are several examples of these:
Amy W.: Lexi is going to be 13 on June 4th. We are a little anxious because it will be her first time staying away from us. She is very shy.
Roxane: I would not worry, Hanah was a first time sleep away last year and she loved it. She is also shy & timid. The moment we met the summit group there was immediate boding with staff and kids. Lexi and Hanah will probably be in middle camp together.
Amelia W: Welcome! I have a 12 year old son, Sawyer, going to session A1... (his 3rd summer) and a college son, Taylor, who will be a counselor there this summer! ~Best place on earth~ she will be in good hands.
When our families interact there is a natural support mechanism that happens. We realize that our families have very similar challenges and are able to share and review their experiences in a safe and supportive community forum. Sometimes our folks will never even meet – but the value of their interchange and contact is immense. Here is another parent sharing an idea and even suggesting we use it on camp (horseshoe is our free-play time after dinner)
Risa S.: Lately, I've been hearing a lot about transcendental meditation and how it helps children on the autism spectrum and children with ADHD to stay calm, centered, motivated, and just enjoy life more. Have any Summit families tried it and found it to be worthwhile? I was thinking that this might be a good class to have at camp. Picture our kids meditating during horseshoe!
And we also know that our families pay attention to what they each say – here is a reply:
Meredith G: I'm a big meditation fan and do a bit with Sam. Breathing exercises are best because it gives the kids something to do. A local school (learning differences/ADHD population) did a study with meditation in school and had good results. Sarah Vallely and Goldie Hawn (yes, the actress) are good resources for meditation and kids. That's a long posting for "yes, it's worthwhile and I encourage Summit to try it."
When a camper joins us at Summit Camp, Summit Travel, and/or Summit Weekender, the child is destined to have a very positive experience. Even larger, however, is the opportunity for the family to also benefit from Summit – outcomes exist for the child and parents – a planned part of our experience.
Gene Bell for Summit Camp
Summit Camp provides a summer sleep away camp experience for boys and girls, ages 8-19, who have issues of attention. These may include Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and/or ADHD), Asperger’s syndrome, awkward social skills, High Functioning Autism, verbal or non-verbal learning disabilities (NVLD), and/or mild social or emotional concerns. Some of our campers may also have Tourette’s syndrome, and/or mild mood issues. Summit Travel works with older children, ages 15-19, who have similar issues. Their opportunities are more worldly and mature based on their changing needs and expectations. The Weekender program offers school year weekends designed to foster peer relationships and enhance social skills. Travel Club provides extended excursions to exciting destinations during school holidays.