Skill Development and Independence
At SummerSkills our goal is to provide an environment in which our campers can develop self-confidence and independence, feel good about their abilities and achievements – and have fun!
To accomplish this we incorporate skill development and learning opportunities into every activity.
Camp days are busy and full but we are careful to ensure that each camper can participate as fully and independently as possible at his or her own level of comfort and ability.
Physical activity is a priority at SummerSkills. Our campers learn far more quickly and effectively by ‘doing.’ And physical activity offers endless opportunities for both challenge and success. Increased health and fitness levels ensure that everyone feels better emotionally, cognitively and physically. Every day our campers bike and participate in pilates work outs, races, sports and physical games.
Every camper is provided with the equipment and support to ride a bike successfully. We regard biking as a crucial skill that all children and youth should have the opportunity to master. It’s cool, it’s fun and every child bikes so it is a very inclusive skill.
If there are adaptations needed in order to bike successfully we will provide or find them. We have extensive experience teaching all levels of biking for over twenty years through our very successful Xceptional Biking program.
Real Life Adventures in the Community
While we are fortunate to have a wonderful facility at WillowWood School we spend a large part of our day out in the community. The city of Toronto has created a wonderful series of bike trails that begin just around the corner from the school so every morning the entire camp heads out in a new direction on a new adventure. It is much more interesting to have a destination, meet people along the way and see new sights!
Every Friday we go out on a full day field trip. Camper preference is usually to head off to the Toronto Islands for a day of swimming, hiking and picnicking. We have come to think of the Toronto Islands as our second camp location!
Social Skills and Group Inclusion
Throughout the camp day there are many opportunities for campers to be part of both large and small groups while involved in games, and other physical activities as well as creative, culinary and other special camp projects.
Being part of a group fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance. Everyone learns to respect and appreciate each other’s abilities and contributions. Older and more competent campers can choose to take a leadership role with younger or less independent campers.
Regardless of age or ability the experience of belonging to a peer group effectively motivates and challenges campers to take on more responsibility for themselves and others, make decisions and take initiative.
Most importantly friendships are forged that often carry over into life after camp. And that is really what camp is all about!