The Children’s Center Summer Camp is meant to provide a respite for families with children experiencing mental and emotional impairments. With your assistance, children enjoy the camp experiences of social activities, education, arts and crafts, games, sports, swimming, gardening, healthy nutrition, exercise, lunch, field trips and more. Campers also make friends, build self-esteem all while enjoying a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Children like K can be nominated by their staff person to attend the 5 weeklong day camp here at TCC and the impact is truly amazing to see. K had been diagnosed with autism disorder and was reported to have difficulties with his receptive and expressive language which significantly interferes with his social communication. Often, these difficulties lead other children to make inappropriate comments about the child with autism or dominate their conversations, in turn isolating the child that has been diagnosed.

There was great progress made by not only K but the other children at thiscamp. Every day, upon entering camp he immediately found white sheets of paper and a pencil, drawing cartoon themes throughout the day. While keeping K on track with all the activities that were offered at camp, the staff helped him explore other types of media for his artwork. The Sonic picture featured was drawn by K with permanent marker on a 4×4 inch tile and then coated with resin.

The turning point came when other campers witnessed K become agitated if his art materials were not immediately available after he participated in a camp activity. Staff noticed that when the groups changed rooms in camp, campers would make sure that K had his art supplies available, even carrying it along with them. They started looking out for him and sought him out for interactions. As K’s friendships grew, his need to create decreased as the camp progressed. Granted, the art did not go away, but it appeared as if his anxiety decreased, and his self-esteem and friendships flourished. We are thankful for everyone that allows more children like K to have the opportunities to create friendships, build self-esteem and work on communication skills with other children their age.