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The end of the school year is fast-approaching and for families of children with autism this can be both wonderful (see: lot’s of free time) and stressful (see: lot’s of free time). Yes, summer is almost here, but it’s not too late if you’re looking for a summer camp and there are quite a few options here in Calgary to choose from:
Janus Academy has three, 2-week long, full-day (9am-3pm) summer camps. Kids can go for just one, all three sessions. This is a popular camp, and spots fill up quickly.
Between Friends (BF) offers a range of camps for children with and without disabilities. In most of the camps, kids are in small groups (from 1:2 to 1:6 camper to counselor ratio). As with most of the autism-friendly camps in Calgary, a 1:1 ratio is not offered, BUT they’re super open to outside support coming into the program (wahoo!).
- Bonaventure is their outdoor summer day camp for kids and teens (between 4 and 17) with a list of activities that make ME want to go to camp (like horseback riding, canoeing, wall climbing, swimming, sailing, and arts and crafts).
- Camp Fun’zAmust is a residential camp (i.e., it runs for a week during August, including overnight) and is designed for youth and teens (between 7 and 17). This camp is at the Easter Seals Camp Horizon site near Bragg Creek, and has some really cool activities like ropes courses, river rafting, hiking, archery (for all the Hunger Games fans out there!), and swimming.
- I.C.A.N! (Inclusive Community Activities With No Barriers) Camps is a program set up by Between Friends where they’ve partnered with a number of community summer camp providers to train Recreation Inclusion Coordinators (RIC) to educate staff on inclusion, best practices, and offer some support while your child is at camp (note: this isn’t a 1:1 support model, but rather camp staff have someone to go for guidance). Here are some of the ICAN! camps to check out:
The Talisman Centre is one of the many programs to partner up with BF, and offers a schwack of integrated programs from “play for life” (a little bit of everything camp), to gymnastics to yoga.
The Calgary Zoo has the same deal going on as the Talisman. They’ve also partnered with the BF to make sure that all kids, including kids with disabilities can go to camp. So if your child is an animal lover, or Zoologist at heart, this might be the camp for you! The Zoo Tots (ages 4-6) is sold out, but they still have spots left in their Discover the Zoo Camp (Grades 1-6), Art Camp (Gr. 1-6), and Youth Wildlife Workshop for Teens (Gr. 7-12).
The City of Calgary’s Southland and Village Square Leisure Centres offer your traditional summer day camps to children 3-12, with a range of activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, games, sports and field trips. They have both full day and half-day programs and run from July 3 to August 31 (to see the camps, click on the link and scroll down to page 36).
Let us know if you’re planning on sending your child to summer camp, share your experiences with sending your child to camp (the good and the bad!), and Contact Us and we can help you make the most out of your child’s summer camp experience!