“In growing up, a child should know some joy in each day and look forward to some joyous event for the morrow.”
Just Right Academy filters nearly all decisions through this simple, one-sentence credo, originally imparted by Nicholas Hobbs in laying out his Principles of Re-Education—a concept deeply rooted in the tenets of JRA’s beginnings. To me, it’s to this ideal that the school owes its success. It’s because of this conviction that students, who at the beginning of the year had to be coaxed from the car, whining, arguing, and fighting, will now, somewhat sheepishly, admit to you that they look forward to coming to school. This change in mindset enables these children to be more successful than they have ever been in other academic settings.
Kids with emotional and behavioral issues deserve to be able to enjoy their summer just as much as a neurotypical kid; in fact, they might need that time away from school even more. However, many of them are unable to succeed in a typical camp setting. Perhaps their frustration tolerances are too low, and the ensuing outbursts are too violent or frightening to the other campers. Or maybe their social skills are too undeveloped, leading to teasing and hurtful comments from others, which are disastrous to already beat down self-confidence. It could be that their inappropriate actions/reactions are deemed too disruptive and damaging. Maybe it’s a combination of many things, all of which staff are not qualified to deal with—and they shouldn’t be required to be. Those are the kids we want at Camp Accolade.
With hand-picked, well-trained, battle-tested staff, Camp Accolade offers children ages 7 through 13 struggling with emotional and behavioral issues what other camps cannot: the opportunity for fun and success at summer camp. Activities include rocket building and launching, tie-dying, rock climbing, swimming, Defy Gravity, animals, camp songs, arts and crafts, outdoor games, fort building, archery, and other activities still to be confirmed. Built into these activities are sensory and vestibular stimulation, social skills strengthening, and building of competencies. Each Friday afternoon will include a presentation and discussion to help parents link skills learned at camp with home. Held at our Erwin Road campus, camp hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Cost is $1600 for three weeks; due to the week-to-week interconnectivity and scaffolding of skills, campers are expected to attend all three weeks. Our camp brochure and registration forms are on the website: http://justrightacademy.org/faqs/summer-camps/
Success will be measured by dirty fingernails, sweaty shirts, friends made, and excitement over returning the next day. Joy IS possible for these kids and we hope it will be a doorway to future successes.
Eric Laures, Camp Director