Kids with neurological challenges tend to be overly connected to technology. It is great to see them using their imagination to find endless ways of entertaining themselves outdoors and learning so much and socializing in nature.
The first Boy’s Retreat of 2014 was held the weekend of January 18-20th with 20 boys aged 6-13, 17 staff and 3 cooks. With a fun twist added to a boot camp/ army theme, leadership staff Adam and Amanda took on the names “Commander Smarty Pants” and “Commander Fancy Pants.” Activities ranged from designing a platoon flag, fort building, hitting a target with a snowball, an obstacle course, tobogganing, walking on the frozen lake out to Bird Island and a scavenger hunt. The kids ate snowcones with maple syrup and were encouraged to use their incredible imaginations to the fullest playing in the winter wonderland. A delicious highlight of the weekend was when Fred, a camper from our Teen Program who has Asperger’s and usually prefers to spend his time on solo projects, made french fries, gourmet grilled cheese and a special drink for all the campers and staff.
February 7-9, 2014 was Autism Retreat. Thirteen campers aged 7 to 18, 14 staff and 3 cooks shared a wonderful weekend with the theme of celebrating all the holidays that take place at this time of the year: Diwali, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. There were many “holiday” activities for the kids to choose from based on their interest level and functioning. A delight for the kids was an afternoon at the YMCA for swimming, which was a huge success. A highlight of the weekend was during our Hanukkah hour when 10 year old camper Andrew made latkes for everyone and was so happy to be able to give back. Shout out to Cody for his incredibly detailed and beautiful mosaic made during Diwali. Everyone had a great time.
Camp Winston is magic. Here kids experience growth that does not happen elsewhere. At home these kids are ridiculed and don’t feel they belong. Here kids and staff feel the love and everyone has fun.
By: Judy Litwack-Goldman