The Autism Summer Camp Program, one of the three Dragonfly Forest’s summer sessions, was developed to provide a recreational and therapeutic camping experience for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Founded in 2002, the summer camp is held in Westtown, Philadelphia. In 2008, Dragonfly Forest ran what they believe is a first of its kind Autism Summer Camp Program pilot session. Since it was an extraordinary success, Dragonfly Forest is offering the session again this year, and is doubling the number of children who will be accepted into the program.
What did a typical day in the life of a Dragonfly Kid look like? It depends on the day! The structure and programs of Dragonfly Forest were specifically set up to maximize the mix of individual, team/group and camp-wide experiences available to campers, particularly with a schedule of rotating "activity periods" and a series of all-camper evening programs. Activities include:
Arts & Crafts: Creative projects designing and constructing boxes, dream catchers and tie-dye t-shirts, and an unofficial license to make a mess!
High Ropes and Low Ropes: Two unique "challenge-by-choice" experiences, where campers, safely harnessed, climb, zip, leap and fly among tree-top platforms or at ground level.
Nature Center and Nature Walks: Intimate or large-scale interaction with Mother Nature and many denizens of her domain, including snakes, lizards and turtles.
Sports & Recreation: A full range of athletic opportunities, from low-key to full-immersion, including archery, basketball, mini golf, ping-pong, tennis and volleyball.
Talent and Music: Held in the large open-air amphitheater, opportunities included dual-microphone karaoke, three keyboards, singing songs from the Dragonfly Songbook, and preparation for Dragonfly Idol.
Waterfront: held at and in the camp's 2-acre lake, activities included fishing (daily and highly successful), row boating and canoeing.
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