What is Adam’s Camp in Colorado?
I have known children who have attended Adam’s Camp in Granby, Colorado; and usually their needs were related to Autism, Down Syndrome, or Cerebral Palsy. It has an incredible reputation. Children who have attended this camp during the summer, have a full packet of goals and progress written by their therapists to take back to their school district and private therapists for the coming year. It is always a very impressive bunch of paperwork. I had never considered sending Ashlynn until I talked to a mom of a client of mine who has global apraxia and who has been attending now for at least 3 years.
The kids attend a 5 day camp in the mountains at a YMCA in Colorado, and they have therapy every day with a team of therapists that include: speech, OT, music therapy, art therapy, and a SPED teacher. In addition to this multi-disciplinary team approach to therapy, they go on fun outings that include: canoeing, swimming, tubing, horseback riding, and rock wall climbing.
I couldn’t wait for Ashlynn to have this experience. They have different weeks tailored to different disabilities. The global developmental delay group was full, but they found and opening for us on Down Syndrome Week and said there would still be kids with other disabilities. I was a little hesitant, only because Ashlynn doesn’t have Down Syndrome. lol. However, Ashlynn doesn’t really fit in anywhere. She has these major needs that require all those therapies, but she doesn’t have DS, or Autism, or CP. I said yes. Honestly, humans with Down Syndrome and Ashlynn have a lot in common; namely, their above average emotional intelligence.
So here we were! I rented a campsite because it was cheaper and had my husband haul our travel trailer up here, set us up in the campground, and then he drove back down to Denver to go back to work. I didn’t realize it, but this campus is HUGE! I NEEDED a car. I hitched a ride the first day and then had my parents bring up a spare for me to drive while I was here! It was quite the drama getting settled!
Adam’s Camp was founded by a woman who had triplets back in the mid 1980’s. One of them died shortly after birth, one of them, Adam, had CP, and the other was a typically developing child. She felt the need to have a camp where all therapists came together to treat the child, but she also recognized the unfortunate and unintended negative impact on a sibling to a child with special needs. They truly get the short end of the stick. So, Adam’s Camp has an amazing siblings camp that is reasonably priced staffed by excellent, experienced teachers who are nothing short of A-MAZING. Let’s put it this way. I was more worried about my neuro-typical son at camp than I was Ashlynn! He is very challenging and pushes every boundary. Also, he is very independent, opinionated, and moody; so if he doesn’t like something, we ALL are going to hear about it!
My worries were completely unfounded. Both kids had an AMAZING experience. Absolutely exceeded ALL expectations. I cannot say enough about this camp.
Jace’s sibling camp was more than just fun. It was therapeutic for him as well. Kids get to talk about their difficulties and hardships within the family dynamics as part of their “therapy,” and then they also get to do super fun outings. Jace did most of the things Ashlynn’s camp did plus roller skating, go-Karts, and more. My son got therapy at a summer camp for being a sibling to kid with special needs….like how groundbreaking and amazing is that???
Finally, parents’ emotional needs and well-being are also factored in and considered into this experience. Adam’s Camp sets up a variety of parent activities that they offer for free, including a parent’s night out! So many parents of kids with special needs find childcare hard. Their marriages suffer and they don’t get many opportunities to be just a couple again. Adam’s camp recognizes this as well.
They really, REALLY have their pulse on the entire familial dynamic related to having a child with special needs and do their best to provide this amazing and holistic approach to every member of the family. I’ve never seen anything like it honestly.
I can’t wait to write more about their experiences. I can’t do it all in this one blog post. Long story short though, is if you can go to Adam’s Camp, DO IT. More to come.