Ontario camps for disabled adults

There is growing recognition that typically developing children and youth who attend a residential outdoor camp experience multidimensional growth in Positive Identity, Social Skills, Positive Values and Spiritual Growth, and Physical and Thinking Skills (Catalano et al. There is a need to develop and exercise these life skills to encourage independent living, social engagement, and community involvement.

Camp can serve as a primary teaching environment to foster skills, optimism, friendships, and competence (Fine 2005; Thurber et al. To avoid marginalization and successfully overcome adversity, individuals with special needs require inclusion, support, and coaching on appropriate skills.

Individuals with profound disabilities did not attend this camp due to a lack of necessary equipment and facilities, as well as the greater limitation of these individuals when participating in the majority of outdoor activities. Avoiding the "pinball machine approach" to promoting social competence: Hitting the target by chance or by design?

The Camper Growth Index — Camper (CGI-C) (Henderson, Thurber, Scheuler, Whitaker, Bialeschki, and Scanlin 2006) and Camper Growth Index — Staff Observational Checklist (CGI-SOC) (Thurber et al.

Seeking employment, living independently, making friends, and trying new activities all require social skills and self-efficacy. Pintrich (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement (pp.

Individuals with appropriate social skills develop competencies, positive relationships and achieve greater success in life compared to those with poor social skills.

Individuals lacking social competence place themselves at a greater risk for numerous problems from internalizing disorders such as depression, anxiety, and social phobias (Burt, Obradovic, Long, and Masten 2008) to externalizing behaviors such as bullying, conduct problems (Gilmour and Mc Dermott 2008), and even later substance abuse (Burt et al. The desire for appropriate social skills development serves as a primary motivation for parents to enroll their children in camps (Colyn, De Graaf, and Certan 2008).

The purpose of the current research study was to investigate whether a summer residential camp experience increased levels of social interaction and improved feelings of social self-efficacy among adults diagnosed with special needs.

This study was conducted at a camp that included individuals with various disabilities.

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Feelings of self-efficacy will determine the amount of energy and effort expended, how persistent an individual remains towards a particular activity, resiliency despite adversities, and also the level of performance achieved. Prevention Science refers to programs that target prevention of risky behaviors or youth problems and provide treatment to those who have experienced difficulty (National Youth Development Information Center 2001).

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