Let's Go CHILL! ~A Summer Camp for Kids with Special Needs
Organized by: Jennifer Holly
I am a speech language pathologist and work with individuals with autism, down syndrome, and other disabilities, who have significant communication needs. Many of these children and teens use AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) to communicate, and they need a little extra support to make the most of their life experiences. It has been an incredible gift to have been a part of their communication growth; to listen to them share their thoughts, or ask a question for the first time. These moments have driven me to find ways to give them more. More opportunities to communicate, to be social, to just hang out and laugh and learn! Oh (happy sigh), summertime. It's a time to splash in the waves, soak up the sun, and develop social relationships and memories to last a lifetime. I want these kids to be able to have that "summer camp experience" too. But these individuals need that extra support (ex. one:one staffing with specialized training, assistive technology for learning and communicating, adaptive equipment for activities, etc) that many summer camps are not able to offer.
So two years ago, I started "Let's Go CHILL!", a small not-for-profit summer day program in NH. It stands for "Communicate-Hang out-Interact-Laugh-Learn!" that strives to make summer the most fun it can be, in a safe and accessible environment. It focuses on each camper's ability, not their disability! Let's Go CHILL! provides those intensive supports each camper needs while giving them amazing and unique adventures they will never forget (like waterslides, horseback riding, and camping!). But simply stated, not all campers can afford to attend, and opportunities for this camp to grow are limited by the conundrum of funding. So I have decided to reach out (which is hard to do!). I am asking you to consider donating to this special cause. Your donation will help create scholarships for campers who are in need of finanical assistance and allow them to attend camp. Your donation will also help this program to grow in more ways than one because it will have campers filling it's weeks with laughter and learning. Please go to: www.facebook.com/LetsGoCHILL for more information about the program. No contribution is too small! You will put smiles on the faces of some very special kids. And I will be forever grateful. :) Thank you!