Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You can't always be first

July 31, 2012
You can't always be first

Teaching a child how to be a good loser, and how this unfortunate event (losing) is a part of everyday life, is a really hard task. But, one we set forth to do every day! We intentionally don't put a competitive spin on any of our games or activities, we always encourage a team mentality vs. competition. We do this because competition is something all of our kids struggle with...at school and home and any other groups they are a part of....and the majority of them usually end up on the losing side. They don't understand why they aren't the fastest, or most coordinated, or "best" at something; and when the "best"  is usually the only one who receives the praise, that is hard to accept. They don't understand that they are just as important, even if they don't finish first..so, we focus on teaching them this concept, everyday!! While our games are not competitive, we do set them up so the kids are challenged in many different ways, where different strengths and weaknesses are necessary. This way, we are able to talk to all the kids, many times individually, about how it feels to not be the best, what this means about them and who they are, why this bothers them, what their individual strengths are, etc. No matter what we do, melt downs happen, feelings get hurt, insecurities show up, and we get the opportunity to sit down with the kids and talk to them and help them understand who they are and why THEY ARE IMPORTANT too! 

Monday, July 30, 2012


July 30, 2012

A new tradition that we started this year, was to have a medal ceremony at the end of each camp week. It has been incredible to see the way the kids respond to this. Some of them are very shy and uncertain about the attention, some of the kids LOVE the attention, some of them need extra support to walk up and accept their medal, some of them take it off immediately after receiving them because they don't like the feel of the fabric on their necks. But, when their name is called...and all the staff are cheering for them and commenting on what a great job they did at camp, EVERY single camper, gets the biggest smile on their face! We always try to make sure their accolades are individualized and we want them to understand that all their hard work has paid off. 

Do your kids ever talk about the medal ceremony or share how they have felt when they received their medals? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Working as a team

July 29, 2012
Working as a Team

As you know, one of the major focus' of our camp programs, is the goal of working together as a team. There are so many reasons why. The kids learn they are not the center of the universe, that others have needs too, that sometimes we have to hear others opinions or do things that others want to do, they learn that it is fun to do things with others, and they learn to depend on others besides their family members. The biggest result to teamwork we like to teach our campers, is that there are some things you cannot do by yourself, and it is OK to ask for help, or express the feeling that you might NEED help. This is a hard concept for many of us to learn. Because this is such a central focus, these team building opportunities present themselves, organically, ALL the time. We always try to take note of a good learning opportunity and take the time to let it play out and then talk about what it meant or how it felt. It is never fun to feel like you have to depend on another, especially for many of our campers who are very independent, very intelligent, and very used to being in control; and they like that feeling. Putting them in situations where they might fail, or they might not know what to do, or they might not be able to get to where they need to be, without help, can be incredibly intimidating and frustrating for these guys. But, because it happens so frequently, because they get a tremendous amount of support-in the moment and after-to debrief, because they start to see theirs and others strengths and weaknesses, and they start to see the benefit in a team; our campers slowly let go of their rigidity and their need to always be in control. This is a long process, but it is always rewarded in the end, when campers start living these principles in every aspect of their lives. We are so blessed to see this happening every day.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Poolside fun

July 28, 2012
Poolside Fun

Swimming is one of the favorite activities for Learning on the Log, campers and counselors. One of the reasons the kids are so engaged, is because of the consistent amount of sensory input their bodies are receiving in the water, which "wakes" them up and it is much easier for them to focus on the other people. Another reason, is that water levels the playing field, in a sense. No kid feels like they are not up to par with their friends, there are no insecurities because they don't have to worry about feeling like they aren't the fastest or most athletic. When they are in the water, despite their swim ability level, they are able to play and take risks and feel free to just enjoy the people around them. For those kids that are not confident swimmers yet or they are shy, we give them a lot of 1:1 attention and support so they feel safe, and then very soon they are requesting a life jacket so they can be free to join the games and go deep in the pool and play play play. The next step is to help them transition to no life jacket and just a noodle to keep them afloat while they play, and eventually they are jumping off the wall and swimming around without even noticing any insecurities. It is incredible to watch. As in any of our programs, we won't send your child home with precise swimming skills or knowledge of different strokes, but they will gain much confidence in the pool so they are able to translate those skills to playing in the pool and taking more risks in other areas of their lives. They will have a blast with their friends and they will love strategizing with others for shooting water guns and they will splash and just enjoy the day. Never a sad face at the pool (except maybe for the 10 minutes of adult swim)!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sensory art

July 27, 2012
Sensory Art

This summer, we had the pleasure of welcoming to our team, Samantha Kurgan, as an art teacher. The kids LOVED working with her and really looked forward to what type of project they would get to try each week. What made this art special, and so great for our kids, were all the different types of "mediums" they got to experience. They used paint, with their hands and brushes and other things, they used rice, and sponges, and newspaper, etc. All of which bring a different sensory experience to the table. These different types of textures are hard for many of our kids to handle, and there were definitely melt downs and BIG messes and struggles, but for the most part, the kids were so motivated by Samantha and her captivating projects, that the kids jumped right in and it was a great experience. It was incredible to see some of our kids try brand new things that they normally would shy away from (getting dirty, getting stuff on their hands, touching sticky or slimy things, etc.). They may have tried these things because they saw their friends trying them and overall it looked like fun. But most importantly, they were willing to try it because they have built a trusting relationship with the staff; they knew that what we are asking them to do would not hurt them, it would be fun, and we would be there to support them when things get hard. It is these types of difficult situations--when we see our campers try something they normally would be uncomfortable with, because they know they are in a supportive environment--that helps us see the impact of what the kids are learning. Thanks Samantha, she made the "project" we produced every week into a real piece of art, that parents could take home and enjoy!  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

When it rains.....we DANCE

July 26, 2012
When it rains......we DANCE

At Learning on the Log, where the majority of our programs take place outdoors, year round, there are amazingly only a few times where we have to take refuge indoors. But, when we do, the campers have just as much fun. We still do our warm up, our stretches, we play games, we do art, but the most enjoyed indoor activity is to have a DANCE PARTY. These kids, who normally needs lots of structure and direction, who normally don't do well with "free play", who tend to stand to the outside of the crowd when we don't offer direction, come to life when you turn on the music! Their eyes light up, they all come to the center of the room and the middle of the crowd, and they just move, move, move. They want to hold hands with each other, they want to look you in the eye and engage, and they laugh together and with each other. Because of this, we try to incorporate music into our activities as much as possible. We always have music playing in the vans, the kids negotiate to listen to their favorite songs, they try to get others to sing along with them, they feel comforted when they hear familiar songs, they have a reason to engage with the child sitting next to them when they are both singing along, and they get to be loud! We sometimes use musical instruments on the hiking trail and the kids get to experiment using drum sticks on trees or the ground or the bridge and hear the different sounds. Sometimes we play "musical chairs" with mats out on the field. When a camper is having a hard time calming down, we encourage our staff to sing to the campers or talk with them in sing-song cadences, and this almost always helps the camper to soothe themselves and get back to the group. Music is a wonderful medium to connect with our campers, and we are always looking for new and creative ways to use music in our daily activities. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Customize for personal Success

Customize for personal success

One of the things campers enjoy most about their experiences with our programs, is the chance for each of them to find success, at their own levels. Each camper is unique, no two are alike. So, then why should their success be measured with the same standards? At Learning on the Log, we embrace everyone's differences and help each individual (camper and counselor) to see, and celebrate, their individual strengths and weaknesses. When playing sports or attempting activities that require strength, agility, endurance, athleticism, speed, intelligence, etc. we adapt each activity to fit each camper, on an individual level. This way, each camper feels as if they are successful and their confidence in themselves begins to grow and grow. Pretty soon, they are taking more and more risks and they are feeling good about what they can do. They start comparing themselves to others less, and start seeing themselves as individuals more. They start to recognize there are things they can do better than others, but there are also things others can do better than them, and that is OK. This is an incredibly important social skill to learn as a child, to help them grow up to be confident and independent teens and adults.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

River day is the BEST

July 24, 2012
River day is the BEST

There are many reasons why River Day is planned for the last day of camp each week, and these are the same reasons that make this day an all time favorite for the majority of our staff AND campers. All of the individual skills we have been working on throughout the week, come together, when we are in a boat, out on the water, with new friends, for 5 hours! 
We have to work on taking turns--paddling, sitting in front, shooting the water guns, riding in different boats, and riding with different counselors. 
We have to be OK with some uncomfortable situations--wearing a constricting life jacket, getting splashed, trying something new, eating lunch in a boat, sharing space, talking to others and getting to know them better. 
We have to work together as small teams, within the bigger team--to make sure our paddlers are communicating with each other, to make sure we stick together, to make sure everyone is having fun, and to make sure we are sharing and empathizing when someone is upset.
We don't have anywhere to run when things become uncomfortable--we are essentially stuck together, so we HAVE to communicate what we are feeling and let others help us through situations, sometimes we have to comfort ourselves and use the "engine calming" techniques learned throughout the week, and sometimes we have to help others feel better about their fears.
Ultimately though, river day is the best because we get to relax, play, rest, swim, shoot water guns, talk with each other, sing songs, learn new games, learn how to paddle, and ENJOY the company of our new friends. 
Is it any wonder we all look forward to Thursdays at camp? What is your child's favorite part of river day at Learning on the Log camp?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Karate-our way

July 23, 2012
Karate-our way

When you think of Karate, you may picture white uniforms, really intense looks, strict discipline, and hard core moves.....all of which are great; but, at Learning on the Log, we have found our kids don't respond well to that scenario. In fact, we used to go to a karate studio, but that did not go well. Our group of kids tended to be too rough in their practice shots and did not respond well to the strict expectations of the instructors. So then, we tried bringing in a skilled instructor, to our own space, where the kids would be more comfortable and wouldn't feel so "heavy" with the rules of the studio.....this too, did not go very well. The kids seemed intimidated by the instructor and afraid to try and risk failing. So, we have come up with a more Learning on the Log friendly, variation of karate! We use real pads and practice basic skills such as punch, kick, block, but the premise behind it all is fun and social and the kids really take to it. When they first hear karate, many shy away or you see fear stricken in their eyes, but once they watch their friends try it, they all want to join in. The staff are energetic and want nothing more than for the kids to succeed, and the kids can sense that, so they are willing to take a risk and try something they might not have otherwise tried. They get to run as hard and as fast as they can and crash into the pads and revel in how strong they are when they knock a counselor to the ground. They feel a sense of accomplishment when the group cheers for their successes, and when they fail, they get to keep trying until they get it right. With the right support and encouragement, they don't view this as failure, just a first of many attempts, and because everybody gets to try it several times, they don't feel they are singled out. Because of the support they feel when it is their turn, the campers are then more inclined to sit and watch and cheer for the other campers instead of dwelling on their own turn or demanding they get another. It is an incredible cycle of natural play and social exchanges, that displays the camaraderie we try to build within all of our groups. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Creativity is the key

July 22, 2012
Creativity is the Key

At Learning on the Log, we love coming up with new games, adapting rules to typical sports, coming up with creative uses of whatever equipment we have on hand, and mainly, how to optimize the most fun for our campers while creating outlets for them to practice new skills. One of our favorite games this summer, which currently has no name (stay tuned to vote on our game and see a video), is a combination between hockey and soccer. The kids use noodles so there is no danger of getting hurt if anyone swings too hard or too high, we use a beach ball so there is little chance of missing the ball when they swing at it, we have more than one ball on the "field" at a time so more kids get the chance to participate, we have goalies that use pool "kick boards" to block, and the kids LOVE IT!! We get to see them working as a team, calling out to each other when they are open, and looking around to see who they can pass the ball to. They have on team jerseys to make this task easier. Each team does their own "hands in the middle" at the beginning of each game and they work together to come up with a team name and cheer. They celebrate together when they score and most of them are also so sweet to cheer for the other team when they score as well :) We sometimes may get confused and score in the wrong goal or pass to the wrong team, but overall we get to see the joy on the kids faces and their determination not to let their team down. All of that, with a few pool toys, who could ask for anything more?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Team Strategy

July 21, 2012
Team Strategy

The other week, a group of campers spent some time planning the attack of Steven's kayak. They thought of elaborate scheme's that included developing alliances and several ways to have surprise attacks.  On Thursday morning, everyone was eager to get started and we did not wait long before plans were activated. Plan A was to soak Steven’s team with water guns, and after distributing the water guns among many members the soaking began.  It was a relative successful soaking campaign, but Steven was prepared with his own water gun as well as an effective way of using his paddle to counter soak.  Plan B was a distraction plan with part of the team distracting Steven’s team and the others sneaking in for a surprise attack.  The first, and only time, worked like planned and Steven’s team got another soaking.  Plan C took things to whole different level.  Three kids in the big blue raft came up with a strategy of luring Steven close to the raft by Armann talking to him.  Within the conversation he was to use the phrase “Happy 4th of July” as a signal for the kids to jump into the water and flip Steven’s kayak.  As predicted, Steven came closer and closer as his conversation with Armann seemed rather innocent, and at the same time the boy’s anticipation for the attack grew bigger and bigger.  Finally, the signal was given and all three boys leaped into the river and swam quickly to the red kayak.  With a determined grip the team rocked the boat enough for Steven to flip into the river, and with that mission was accomplished. 

This was a great example of how Learning on the Log is able to capitalize and expand on one interest or passion.  A simple idea was expanded on, developed more, and found others to include in.  Each side had several team members who were eager to share their ideas on strategies and attacks.  Not only did each camper have to work to communicate his ideas, but they also had to take into consideration other peoples feelings and ideas.  They had to maintain a balance of meeting personal needs with an evolving team needs.  This is a continuous challenge for any team member on any team.

Don't worry, Steven was aware of this plan from the beginning and played along masterfully. In the end, he triumphed (even though the kids think they won of course)!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not just sports

July 20, 2012
Not JUST Sports

One of the biggest differences seen in our program, verses other camps or after school programs where you might play team sports, is the focus on the social skills within the sports. While playing a game of kickball or soccer or baseball, when a dis-agreement or mis-understanding comes up, we don't brush it off and keep the game going. We feel the most important aspect of playing sports, is for the children to feel as if they are heard, understood, and cared for. So, when something comes up, we will stop the game and one of our staff will talk with the kids, down at their level, and work with them until the mis-understanding has been resolved and then we resume the game again. So, instead of running away or shutting down or hating sports as a result, the kids learn to love the act of playing team sports. They have decided this is something they cannot be successful at, so they don't want to try. Many of our campers have had terrible experiences in other programs when they tried to join a team sport and in the end they hate sports. When they first come to us, they usually refuse to play or melt down or find an excuse as to why they can't join in. By the end of a week of camp or a semester of after school, our campers are reporting that they indeed love sports now, they are actually good at sports, and they are more willing to take a risk and play a form of sports with their siblings or in the neighborhood again. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Playground Obstacle Course

July 19, 2012
Playground Obstacle Course

One of the hardest things about not having our own facility, is not being able to predict what type of environment or equipment will be available to us at any given time. Due to this, we have learned to be incredibly creative and adaptable to any situation. We use whatever is around at the time, and the best example of this, is our Playground Obstacle Courses....they have become a weekly staple, that shaped out of losing our field at the last minute! We utilize the slides, the monkey bars, the cross walks, everything is open to interpretation and is only limited by our imaginations. The kids LOVE it. They get to play on the playground, but in a controlled and strategic atmosphere. They have no idea we are working on: hand eye coordination, "hand over hand" skills, sequencing, listening and following multi-step directions, bi-lateral movement, upper body strength, and so much more. We can be on the same playground every day, and change the obstacle course a million different ways. The kids get to cheer each other on as they watch their friends take turns and successfully complete the course. They attempt new things that seem impossible, like climbing UP the slide, without going down on their hands and knees, and experience a sense of pride when they do accomplish each stage of the course. Many times, they turn to the staff or call out to their friends "I DID IT" with such a look of happiness and satisfaction, it touches your heart each time. We can't help but feel proud when our campers feel this sense of accomplishment and want to share it with someone else.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Staff not needed?

July 18, 2012
Staff not needed?

You know it has been a successful summer when you sit down to play a game of Duck Duck Goose and the staff are able to stand back and only provide minimal support. Talk about a moment of triumph!  This game may seem simple to many, but we find that it is actually quite difficult to grasp for many of our kids. It is difficult to understand the "change" in roles when you have been picked, then you chase, then it is your turn to choose......that sequence is very difficult to achieve. It is also difficult to wait your turn while seeing so many others getting chosen ahead of you, it is hard to remember the order of the words to say as well as which word you select to show everyone your "choice", it is difficult to not feel overwhelmed when someone is chasing you down, remembering to sit back down when getting chased is hard, as well as not "tagging" too hard when you are the one pursuing. We play this game multiple times over the summer, and as the weeks go on, we get to see the incredible progress, inch by inch. In the beginning, the staff are sitting with the kids, reminding each camper what to do next and even holding their hands and running with them around the circle; but now, 7 weeks into the summer, the campers sustained about 25-30 minutes of playing this game, while the staff stood back and watched their enjoyment. What an incredible day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


July 17, 2012

One of the main attractions to our programs, is our dynamic staff. They are incredible. The children love them, the parents rave about them, and they truly love working with our kids. We are very selective when determining the right people to hire, and over time, we feel we have perfected the art of finding just the right team! The reason this seemingly small detail, is one of the unique things that sets us apart from other programs in Atlanta; is that the play our campers experience with our staff, is their first step towards developing healthy peer relationships. The children that come to our camps, typically stand back when in a crowd, they fade into the background, they may try to engage but the interactions tend to fail miserably, they make jokes that may be inappropriate, or they may push someone too hard in a game because they realize the difference between gentle and too rough. All of these factors, cause many of our campers to be labeled in other groups as, "too rough", "inappropriate", "too quiet", "too loud", "too aggressive", "too sensitive", etc. But, in our groups, we see those attempts at engaging as good sign, the child wants to play they just need some extra support to reach the same level of appropriate interaction as others. Our staff DO NOT sit back a facilitate, instead they play just as hard as the campers, and because of this, our staff become the campers first playmates at camp. They receive those inappropriate interactions and respond with verbal and non-verbal cues that help the child to understand why their behavior might be inappropriate. Once we have spent some time with a camper, they begin to trust the staff, and they start to understand the more appropriate ways to interact, we then start adding other campers into the interactions and support the play. This way, the children are able to "try their new skills out", with support when things go badly and praise when they go well. They start picking up on the cues the other child is responding with, and then organically, a new friendship is born. After this step is mastered, the children are then able to take these new skills out into less supported environments and find success when playing with new children.

Monday, July 16, 2012


July 16, 2012
One of our favorite dynamics in our groups at Learning on the Log, is when siblings join in. In a family where one child has any special needs, the sibling(s) are often lost in the shuffle. Because they are able to do things without extra help or attention, and their special needs sibling does need extra attention, the sibling may feel left out or that no one listens to their needs. They also may feel unsure of how to interact with their special needs brother or sister or feel embarrassed by their melt downs and reactions to things, they may not understand the lack of attention they receive and may resent it, and they may feel jealous of all the attention and “fun therapy” their brother/sister might be receiving. On top of those confusing feelings, the sibling usually also feels a strong protective pull towards their special needs brother/sister and feel it is their responsibility to watch out for them. When they join our camps, we can support them through all of these things. We help them to see how to interact with their brother/sister in a way that draws the out and motivates them to engage, they see that there are many other children similar to their sibling and who act the same way and they start to not feel so embarrassed by the outbursts, they feel comfortable in our groups because no one is judging their sibling for their unusual behavior, they are able to relax and just have fun because they don’t have to feel responsible for how others will perceive their brother/sister, and overall they get to enjoy their sibling and feel that the counselors are there to listen to them and help them process their feelings, just as much as their special needs sibling. They feel important and that their feelings are important. On the other side, it is also incredibly important to have siblings and typically developing children in our groups because it “ups” the social interactions for all of our campers. The natural interactions of the siblings draws our LOTL campers out of their shell, they attempt to emulate the social skills they observe, and they are drawn to a higher lever of interaction that you see less of when all the children are grouped in with others at their same level.The typical children and siblings learn empathy and understanding that all children are different and special and have their own strengths, and the children on the spectrum learn appropriate behavior and social techniques, which they are then attempting to emulate with other children and at home with their families

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finding Meaning

A child’s ability to find meaning within a relationship with staff or peers, and find meaning within a game and activity is at the core of Learning on the Log's social formula.  It is the reason why we hire so many dynamic staff in each program, and it is why we work so hard at connecting with each child.  Organic social skills learned within our programs have a better chance of being generalized to other settings when those experiences have meaning.  For example, campers make it a point to say hi and bye to friends, invite each other to birthday parties, lead parents and siblings on a hike, take more chances on the playground, and become more assertive in communicating needs.  All of us get more out of experiences that have meaning, and our campers are able to experience social success for the same reason.

What is Typical?

July 14, 2012,
What is typical?
Many times, when a parent finds out their child has a diagnosis of Autism or any other social delay, the disappointment that we hear most frequently is: “I won’t ever get to play ball with my son or see him play on a “typical” sports team”. The way we structure our groups at Learning on the Log, many times you are unable to tell if the group is “typical” or “special needs”. We start each day with warm-ups, stretches, team cheers, and then sports. When looking at the group as a whole, the only difference you might notice is the abundance of staff that are playing alongside the kids, otherwise it is truly difficult to tell the difference. What does a “typical” child get out of playing sports and being on a team? They learn to be part of a group, they learn to take turns, they learn to cheer for their friends when they are successful and to mourn their losses, they feel success when they perform well, they learn strategy and thinking in the moment. Our kids learn all of these things and start to care about them; they just need some extra support to get there. The advantage these have over other children is they start to understand and feel empathy for others, when they see them having a hard time. Because tour kids start to recognize they are different and need some help along the way, with the right social support, LOTL children start to care about and empathize with the “little guy” and they then want to help out. In the long run, the skills our children are learning are just as important, if not more important than what a typical child learns on a sports team. Maybe we should redefine what is typical and what qualities are important for our youth…..

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hands in the Middle


This is a daily, if not multiple times a day, tradition we embrace in all our Learning on the Log programs. Just like sports teams, Learning on the Log attempts to gain a "team" feeling within all of our groups. This exercise requires everyone (kids and adults) to put their hand in the middle of the circle and on the count of 3, they cheer for a common goal (usually the next transition or activity). It is challenging for many reasons. You have to be in very close proximity with other people and for many of our campers, they initially find this incredibly uncomfortable and if not supported by a staff, they would just walk away or refuse to participate. You have to sustain focus on a common goal for longer than some of our campers find comfortable. You have to sequence the directions, hear the word to use, listen to the countdown, and then lift your hand in sync with the group, as well as say the cheer at the right time. All of these steps are difficult for many of our campers to track. But, because we do this on a very consistent basis, the kids start looking forward to joining in, they slowly become less and less uncomfortable with different aspects of it and soon are enduring closeness like never before. They are able to focus for longer and longer without help, and they are all incredibly proud when the sequencing goes right and they all cheer at the same time. This is an incredibly important practice, because: it introduces consistency, it encourages team work, the campers feel like they can be successful in uncomfortable situations, everyone cheers together for a common goal, and overall the kids leave the group energized, organized, and excited for the upcoming activity.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Importance of Downtime


July 12, 2012
The Importance of Downtime
We get asked this question multiple times, why do you drive around so much in your programs? Isn't that a waste of the day? We don't think so, and this picture is a prime example of why.....our campers work hard while they are at camp. They get sweaty, tired, grumpy, their engines get high due to the tough social interactions, and we tend to go-go-go. The transition time in the vans gives everyone a chance to calm their bodies and emotions down. They re-charge by reading, playing with small toys, singing to the kid's CD's, talking with their neighbor (kids and staff), or even taking a nap. This ensures their little bodies are ready to go for the next activity, and we find that they are much more open to being challenged and trying new things after they have had time to re-charge in the vans.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Water guns and Social etiquette

July 11, 2012
We have so enjoyed our water guns, that have mostly been donated by parents. Even during “adult swim” where the kids have to sit out for a few minutes, the water guns are a great tool for engaging and interacting in play. For children who find it hard to ask a friend to play with them or try to get a counselor’s attention, these water guns give them an easy avenue to try. Our staff are then able to use this as a tool for appropriate play. We talk to the child about how they need to ask someone first, “do you want me to squirt you” or “can we play together”, before shooting them. Or, if they do squirt someone and they get mad, we are able to support them in that interaction of explaining why they squirted them, and help them to see the more appropriate “water gun etiquette” in their next interaction. If someone says no, than we are also able to support the camper in this feeling of disappointment. This is a prime example of how our campers learn appropriate social interaction techniques, organically, in everyday situations that they can then use in future interactions with friends and family.

Job Well Done

July 10, 2012
This camper is so excited to have his face painted and is incredibly proud to have received his medal. These are handed out as a “job well done” to our campers for all of their hard work. All of the children experience a lot of fun each week, but they also have to work through many tough “social situations”, which should definitely be rewarded! They work on conflict resolution, how to be a good team member, how to respond to disappointment, and how to communicate tough feelings such as anger or jealousy.
Job well done to all of our campers each week!