Camp Winston hosted two Autism Retreats in March and both were full of fun and enthusiasm. There is a big focus at these retreat weekends on sensory activities and the Sensory Room is used frequently. On the March 7th weekend, Jason, who came to us as a last minute respite addition found the Sensory Room to be an oasis. He loved playing with the bubble tube and the lights. The room calmed him down, reducing his aggression, and enabled him to enjoy himself and be able to participate in mealtimes and some planned activities.
Soumiya joined us for her second retreat. She is non-verbal and took her time adjusting on her fist visit. This time participated a lot, made it to meals and seemed a lot more comfortable. We were so happy to see her progress as she gained her comfort and was able to take in all that camp has to offer.
On one weekend we decorated a terra cotta pot and planted seeds. The campers loved playing with the bin full of beans – it was a great sensory, tactile activity. On the other weekend we made bird feeders. This was a real highlight since everyone was able to participate. The campers hung the bird feeders all around Camp. Campers baked cookies according to their ability; some baked from scratch and some used pre-made cookie dough. Everyone enjoyed decorating and eating the treats.ere so happy to see her progress as she gained her comfort and was able to take in all that camp has to offer.
A final highlight was watching as Fred and Larry became great friends and were able to go out of Camp on an excursion to the grocery store to buy ingredients for Fred’s famous feasts. It was great to see these boys forming friendships, hanging out and going to the store just like other teenagers.