Speech therapy camps and our campers friendship circle.
Communication and speech-related challenges vary from camper to camper at Camp Lee Mar. Some campers may have limited verbal communication. Others campers may love to talk, but have difficulty holding a conversation, staying on the conversation topic, or have difficulty understanding body language and facial expressions when talking with others.
Camp Lee Mar has a full speech and language program to help our campers develop these skills! We follow each camper’s I.E.P. to improve verbal, nonverbal, and social communication skills during our intensive 7 week summer program. Our overall goal being to help our campers communicate to the best of their ability, and as functionally as possible with those around them, all while having a great time.
Our speech therapy program produces such great results because not only do our campers receive “classroom” speech sessions, but our speech specialists also see the campers across a range of naturalized settings in the camp environment.
It is this functional approach that allows our campers to build their friendship circle at Camp Lee Mar. The speech staff and the counseling staff work closely together so every opportunity that arises during the day can be used as a natural social learning experience. The staff can guide our campers in their social interactions to allow them to be successful making friendships and to assist in learning the skills to maintain those friendships. That is how our campers gain such meaningful connections at Camp Lee Mar. We have parents tell us that their child has trouble remembering the names of the other students in their class at school, but after 7 weeks at Camp Lee Mar their child can name all their friends and counselors from their cabin.
It is amazing to watch each cabin at camp become a close friendship circle, to see the campers develop a sense of pride in their group, and their role within the group, and to see how the staff assist in facilitating meaningful camper friendships and connections. This is what makes the Camp Lee Mar experience so special for our campers.Our campers feel the sense of belonging that comes with having friends that understand them, friends that include them, and friends that are working on similar skills as they are. To have a true friendship circle within their cabin helps our campers to work on social skills that will benefit them for the rest of their school year in a fun camp environment.
Written by Lynsey Trohoske
My name is Lynsey Trohoske, I am the assistant director at Camp Lee Mar. I have three amazing children, my middle child happens to be on the autism spectrum and is a camper at Lee Mar. I joined camp as a counselor in 1998 and loved the campers and their families so much that Camp Lee Mar became my second home!