Volunteer At Summer Camp for Children with Special Needs
For a child with special needs, summer can be just another time to feel out of place: a boy who uses a wheelchair getting discouraged that his community pool lacks the staff and equipment needed for him to enjoy the water; a girl with a developmental disability wanting to quit her art class because it moves too quickly for her; a child who has undergone chemotherapy afraid to join a soccer team for fear that others will laugh at his bald head.
Camps specifically designed for children with special needs can solve many of these problems. Staff can take into account the physical, emotional, and social skills of the children with special needs. Perhaps best of all, children with special needs can be around peers in similar situations. Nobody feels like an outsider.
Many of these camps are offered free or at a low cost — a welcome respite for families that are often being taxed to their financial limits with medical bills and other expenses. But to give each child with special needs the attention he or she requires to have a safe, enjoyable, and positive experience, camps must have a sufficient staff. While camps for children with special needs employ workers, they also depend on volunteers to keep adult-to-child ratios low and to keep costs down.
The good news is that becoming a volunteer at a camp for children with special needs is something virtually anyone can do. At most camps, training is provided, so no prior experience is necessary. All that is required is a desire to help children with special needs learn new things, feel good about themselves, and have fun. Though camp may only last a week or two, the memories created for both the children with special needs and the adults who volunteer to help them will last a lifetime.
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Alternatively, you can search for volunteer counselor opportunities based on the special-need served by the camp:
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