|Ben having a good ole' time at camp.|
Ben attended 6 weeks of camp at Imagination Station this summer, a camp coordinated through the County Parks and Recreation - Therapeutic Recreation Division. Each week, Ben swam, participated in music therapy, My Gym, arts and crafts and story time. A field trip to local amusement parks and other fun places was also part of their schedule every week.
Because the camp director is educated and trained as a recreational therapist, she understands the needs of children with disabilities. A consistent, predictable schedule was set for the week, but specific activities changed often throughout the day to offer variety and keep the attention of the campers.
Ben loved this camp. When I came to pick him up, he was never ready to leave. One of his favorite places was the playroom filled with tunnels and slides for kids to climb and hide. Although Ben mostly observed the kids running, he enjoyed it so much. So many of his fellow campers would come over to give him hugs, kisses...and an occasional ear for Ben to suck. Really.
On one of the last days of camp, Ben developed a crush on one of the girls, Julie*. I witnessed our not-so-gentle Ben crawl over to where Julie was napping and stroke her hair. When I asked him about Julie, he gave me one of his biggest grins. What a sly one!
* Julie's name was changed to protect her identity.