Community Collaborations Create an Inclusive Camp Experience
July 10, 2015
Posted in: Uncategorized
Camp Ekon hosts campers from across Canada and around the world and it is only a short drive from Parry Sound on the shores of Lake Joseph. It is a Jesuit philosophy-based camp that has been partnering with Community Living Parry Sound for many years. Camp Ekon has its own program to teach young people how to become camp counsellors called the “Leaders-in-Training” program, or LIT for short. Many years ago the camp called upon the expertise of Community Living Parry Sound staff and inquired about working together to better inform the up-and-coming camp leaders about developmental disabilities and how to accommodate children of all abilities.
Ever since that partnership was formed, going to Camp Ekon has become a summer tradition for children who receive services from CLPS. On July 8th, 2015 they joined campers at Camp Ekon for a day of fun and comradery. Each LIT invited a child to spend the day with them and each child chose the activities that they wanted to participate in. Lunch was served in a grand hall where everyone joined in the meal.
Community First is a philosophy that encourages people with developmental disabilities to participate in fully inclusive community activities, affording them the chance to meet all kinds of people and form natural connections and friendships. In the process it offers people without developmental disabilities the chance to learn the joys of being in relationships with all kinds of people, promoting acceptance and understanding.
Camp Ekon continues to partner with Community Living Parry Sound to educate tomorrow’s camp counsellors on how to include everyone in the wonderful activities of camping.