This time of year, with the Special Education Foundation’s upcoming 20th Annual Dan McLaughlin Charity Golf Tournament and Auction, we talk a lot about our Kid-to-Camp program, where we provide students with the opportunity to have a summer camp experience.

Unfortunately, children with disabilities often cannot join their peers in a summer camp experience due to financial constraints or other hardships.

That’s where SEF steps in to help young people and their families take advantage of these experiences that can sometimes be life-changing. The summer camp experience also provides parents and caregivers with peace of mind knowing that their child is in a safe and healthy place, giving parents a chance to take a breather and reset for when their children return home.

The Talisman Summer Camp program in North Carolina noted four distinct benefits of summer camps for special needs children.

  • Social Skill Building
  • Active, Healthy Outdoor Activities
  • Increased Confidence
  • A Break for Both Children and Parents

Libby, who attends school in the Kirkwood District, was one of our Kid-To-Camp participants this year. In the application for Libby, her teacher wrote that “participation in camp with peers would help support Libby’s social and emotional growth. Libby has been separated from peers for too long during our COVID closure, and she’s ready to participate in some summer fun.”

Libby attended Camp Barnabas this summer and, according to her mother, had a fantastic experience. Her adventures included swimming, canoeing, paintball, mini golf, and numerous sports activities and crafts.

But, according to Libby’s mom, “her favorite part by far was the evening dance parties with friends! Spending extended time with peers with similar interests and abilities provides a level of comfort that can’t be matched.”

She adds that “not only does Libby learn from her friends at camp, but she also gets to be a leader and help others…one of Libby’s most endearing qualities!”

Libby is one of many Kid-to-Camp success stories made possible by the generous support of donors to the Special Education Foundation.