Not an easy question to answer . . . unless you are a part of this great program at Camp Lee Mar!
So what is the meaning of L.I.F.E.?
Living Independently Functional Education
At Camp Lee Mar we are constantly developing our programming so we can offer the most effective, well rounded, fun, and educational program for our campers. One of the key factors considered while programming is keeping our programming engaging, educational and age appropriate. For our older campers this means that they enjoy traditional camp activities while continuing with their academic, speech and social skills program. However, their program expands to include the vital job training skills and self-advocacy skills that will be essential for a smooth transition to adult life.
After a transition to our senior unit, many of our campers begin job training skills. Our campers will hold a job on camp as part of their academic program. This allows us the opportunity to provide job coaching and teach workplace self-advocacy skills for our campers. The speech department reinforces these skills, providing sessions on job interview skills, workplace social etiquette, and community safety.
The L.I.F.E. program then became the next step in our programming innovations.
Over the years, as campers began to age out of our camp program, families frequently shared their concerns with us about the transition into adult life for their campers. Parents needed a program that could help their child budget, food shop, do laundry, and manage the day-to-day realities of living independently. The Camp Lee Mar L.I.F.E. Program was created to teach these skills in a supported environment.
We recognize that for older teenagers and young adults with social, emotional, and learning differences, living independently and securing a job can be difficult. They first need the functional education and experience required, followed by opportunities to master these skills in a safe, supervised setting. The L.I.F.E. program builds on Lee Mar’s educational program, and the previous skills campers have gained within our Academic Career Training Program. It also builds on the social skills and interview skills developed in our speech program.
Additionally, the L.I.F.E. program has a full apartment with a large kitchen, washer and dryer, two bathrooms, a living room, and a classroom, that are used for functional education and “hands-on” experience.
So now you know the Camp Lee Mar philosophy on the meaning of L.I.F.E.! To enjoy the summer at Camp Lee Mar, while gaining the skills necessary to live independently and smoothly transition to adult living.
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!