Volunteers needed for Autism Spectrum Disorder Summer Movement Camp

For many Niagara youths living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there are limited opportunities to participate in a summer camp that meets their specific needs.

These youths get to attend a unique camp at Brock University for one week each summer, but only if there is a student volunteer willing to support them.

The ASD Summer Movement Camp runs from Aug. 21 to 25 and Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 and provides developmentally appropriate movement programming for participants.

The camp needs 25 student volunteers to work with youth who require one-on-one support (and in some cases two-to-one support).

ASD Summer Movement Camp 2016

ASD Summer Movement Camp participant Rory O’Donnell receives one-on-one instruction from Brock University student Kiley Hill during last year’s session.

“These camps fulfill a much needed gap in services for this group of youth in Niagara,” says Elyse Lappano, Brock’s Experiential Learning Co-ordinator, Inclusive and Adaptive Physical Activity. “This is because many of our participants are unable to attend other local camps as they are either too old or there are simply not enough resources available to service their individual needs.”

The ASD Summer Movement Camp can only accept campers based on volunteer commitment.

“This means, when a volunteer says they will be at camp, we invite a camper,” explains Lappano. “If the volunteer does not show up, we cannot turn that camper away — this results in a serious safety issue due to lack of student support.”

Students are currently needed for both camps and may volunteer for one or both weeks. A training session will take place on campus on the Sunday before each camp.

Volunteers should be interested in teaching and working with youth and teens in a movement context. They will learn strategies that are transferable to any teaching profession and may gain course credit for volunteering.

Undergraduate and graduate students from across all faculties and departments are encouraged to apply.

“In the past, we’ve had students volunteer from across Brock University,” Lappano says, including students from Education, Kinesiology, Disability Studies, Goodman School of Business, Math and Science, and Dramatic and Visual Arts.

“This camp is so unique, we’ve also had students from other Ontario colleges and universities who volunteer their time to gain experience.”

The camp will take place in Gym 2 of Walker Complex.

There will also be trips each afternoon to participate in a variety of recreation activities throughout Niagara, including:

  • Low ropes course
  • Bowling
  • Safari Niagara
  • Go-karts
  • McBain splash pad and pool
  • Kiwanis splash pad and pool

The ASD summer movement camp fulfills Brock’s commitment to experiential education and community engagement.

To register or for more information, e-mail elappano@brocku.ca

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