Strive Learning Centre for Children delivered 12 weeks of programs and 632 hours of intensive rehabilitative therapy to 19 different children and youth with Cerebral Palsy in 2011who travelled to our programs from across Canada and the United States. Most have already re-enrolled for 2012. Strive held 4 camps, one of which was a 4 week combination therapy / recreation camp where children could enjoy the full camp experience as well as receive high quality therapy.
After classes in Strive's residential program, students took part in drama, swimming, arts & crafts, card games, dancing and plenty of hanging out time. For many of our campers, it was the first time they experienced these meaningful age appropriate experiences without their parents. Through all the day's activities from getting out of bed, getting ready for the day, choosing their own food in the cafeteria, and navigating their way around the camp, each child received the individual support needed to attain their maximum level of independence.
The other 3 programs were day camps, with the children returning to their families at the end of the day. All our camps were resounding successes with all our campers giving and receiving tremendous motivation for one another, and working so hard each and every day towards their individual goals. Each made great progress and gained skills that advanced their physical, emotional and social and independence. Despite how seriously hard the kids worked, there were always lots of opportunities for giggles and fun with their newly found friends.
It was a very powerful thing to be witness to the beaming pride each child felt when showing off their newly found skills to their friends, staff and their parents. Developing friendships with kids who have disabilities similar to theirs was an invaluable experience to our campers. No one was different. There was acceptance, tolerance, encouragement and lasting friendship.