Although the camp season is in full swing, it is time to think about next summer. Just forget for a moment that we are buying school supplies and new clothes for school, and start planning for one year from now.
As much as we love our children, it is important for us to get a break from them. It preserves our sanity, our family dynamic, and it can be life-changing --- for us and them!! For us, we gained: some romantic “alone” time, and the opportunity for travel and adult activities. For Luke, it brought him increased sociability and independence, a sense of responsibility and raised his self-esteem. He also tried new activities, such as tennis, hiking and golf.
We learned early on that Luke needed to go to camp just as he needed to go to school. He needed to stay busy constantly, and we tired of entertaining him for three months. While the school district provided a summer school program, the afternoon programs just weren’t enough. So we looked at day camps and overnight camps. What we found astounded and pleased us immensely. There is a plethora of camp offerings for our kids who live on the North Shore.
According to a website called needymeds.org, there are 35 special needs camps in the Chicago area. Luke has attended three of them, and all have been quality programs. These camps will serve children, teens and young adults.
Put on your to do list to check out camps offered by:
Camp Red Leaf and Camp Star (JCYS.org) offer day and overnight programs
NSSRA –North Suburban Special Recreation Association (nssra.org)- offers inclusive day programming, and "Camp Duncan," "Camp Wigwam," and "Camp Hug the Bear" overnight camps
The Center for Enriched Living (centerforenrichedliving.org) offers day programming for youth and adults
Keshet (keshet.org)- offers day and overnight inclusive camp experiences at JCC facilities
We were lucky enough to find a wonderful program for Luke in the Catskills, where he has gone for three consecutive summers. With time alone, Bob and I have enjoyed golfing together, Ravinia, trips to Canada and California, and quiet nights at home. We are enjoying a relaxing summer; you can too!