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!
One of my favorite things during the camp “off-season” is to talk with potential new parents. We often start by talking about the different types of camp programs that they are exploring, such as weeklong special needs camps, Special Olympic camps, summer respite camps, inclusion camps, waiver funded camps and how Camp Lee Mar is different. The most enjoyable part of these conversations is not only to share information about our camp program and how we follow each child’s I.E.P., but to connect with the parents and learn more about their child. What does the parent want their child to gain from camp? How does their child feel about going to camp? What are their child’s likes and interests? It is from these conversations, understanding the child’s school and home environment, that we can determine if we are the best potential fit for a camper.
As a parent of a child with special needs myself, I know I want my child feel included, accepted, and to have friends. In our initial conversations I often find out that a child may be in a mainstream school program throughout the year, or may have partial inclusion during their school day, but do not experience being invited to birthday parties or out to the movies with friends on the weekend. As a parent it can be heartbreaking to watch your child try to have a friendship circle but not quite know how to maintain those friendships, or just not be included. At Camp Lee Mar the counselors support the campers in their friendships, and over a 7-week period, the campers make friends that they talk about for the rest of the school year! The social skills and friendships gained at camp are amazing! Watching the campers reunite at the beginning of each camp season, running into each other’s arms ready to begin another summer of fun and learning, is such a great feeling. Seeing the parents smile, knowing that their child is loved, safe and happy, is part of the Camp Lee Mar magic.
If you feel like Camp Lee Mar may be a good fit for your child, please reach out. Parent to parent, I would happily answer any questions you may have.