Camp Robin Rogers & Our Partnership with the ARC of Allen County
For the past two summers, I have had the opportunity to provide assistance for Camp Robin Rogers, a summer camp for children with disabilities provided through the ARC of Allen County. Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities partners with the ARC to allow me to assist with behavior support at the day camp. I meet with staff to help them provide the best care during the five weeks that the camp is in operation. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to hang out with students from Marimor School, where I work during the school year. I get to know the students even better during these camp days.
Prior to the start of camp, I train all the new and returning camp staff. The staff are typically college students looking to earn money in the summertime. Many of them are working towards their Bachelor’s or Master’s in Education. A few of them are Educational Aides who work in our local school districts. The staff are full of energy and enjoy working with kids with disabilities. I talk to them about behavior support strategies, trauma informed care, de-escalation techniques and how to safely, physically intervene if needed. Training gives me a good opportunity to meet the staff, so if they need my assistance with a child during camp, we already have an established rapport.
Beyond that, I am available each day as a resource for camp staff. I give advice and guidance as behavior needs develop. I develop strategies for the kids, so they can get the most out of camp and it can be a pleasurable experience for everyone. The staff and I work with children who generally don’t want to transition from one activity to the next. (Because hey – who wants to get out of a swimming pool on a nice day?!) Some kids struggle to sit still for lunch. We help ease the minds of children impacted by the transitional issues that come with school ending, summer camp beginning, and then returning to school.
By far the best part of what I do at camp directly involves the kids. I visit with them while they are enjoying camp activities. They attend Art each day, as well as Music, Swimming, Dance and free play time. The atmosphere is very relaxed and everyone is generally happy at Camp Robin Rogers. Seeing the kids in a fun, relaxed environment makes for a very enjoyable work day!
By: Erin Koenig, Behavior Support Specialist