The YMCA strives to give children the opportunity to have fun in a safe, inclusive environment to socialize with their peers, develop friendships, participate in healthy activities such as swimming and multi-sports, develop physical literacy, build independence, and develop interpersonal and leadership skills.
YMCA camps provide children who come from families with limited financial means the opportunity to experience activities they normally would not be able to access. The program benefits the whole family by reducing worry and stress and improving overall mental well-being. When children are happy and safely cared for, families and the entire community benefits.
On August 23, VOCM Cares highlighted Autism Society, Newfoundland and Labrador. VOCM Cares provided them with funding towards the “Family Fun Day” at Springwood Camp.
Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis may find developing and maintaining friendships challenging as ASD is a social communication diagnosis. Imagine spending every moment of the day socializing and/or communicating (verbally, facial expressions, body language, etc.) in an effort to develop friendships all the while having a diagnosis that makes both socializing and communication difficult and confusing. Research has found that the first step to meeting a potential friend and peer group is to find people who have similar interests. Family Fun Days provides a host of activities – swimming, kayaking, nature hikes, climbing activities, tennis, various outdoor games, and even a campfire – in a beautiful, peaceful, natural, and safe setting with counselors. Participants can try new activities or take part in those in which they are already familiar and comfortable. This is not only beneficial for an individual’s confidence but also helps reduce the stigma of what people with ASD can accomplish which leads to a more inclusive community.
While ASNL has always hosted family events, they are generally of a much shorter nature. Family Fun Days are a full day of activities, including meals and bonding opportunities. It is truly an opportunity to build lasting friendships and learn new activities!
Danielle Knustgraichen elaborated more on the Family Fun Day on 590 VOCM. Listen here.
Lastly, on August 24th, VOCM Cares highlighted Manuels River. VOCM Cares provided funding towards the Manuels River Summer Science Camp & Manuels River Leaders in Training Camp.
Everything that Manuels River does connects back to the protecting, and advocating for the River itself, and for the health and wellbeing of all of the living things that are so much a part of it, including community members.
Manuels River runs youth Science and Leadership camps to get children outdoors so they can experience nature first-hand, to encourage healthy play so they can make friends, and to give them access to caring adults. They aim to educate campers about the world around them, so that campers can find their place. Science education not only improves science literacy, but also sparks curiosity, which helps campers grow into a community of life-long learners, who are inspired to care about each other and the natural world. Making these connections with Manuels River, campers will continue seeking connections to nature and other like-minded individuals as they grow.
Eleanor Power discussed the Manuels River Summer Science Camp & Manuels River Leaders in Training Camp on 590 VOCM Morning Show. Listen here