New adaptive summer camp comes to La Crosse
June 10, 2021
|By Katie Berkedal, Program Director|
No Boundaries Summer Camp
With grant support from the Mary Grace Sieber Fund at LCF, the Dahl Family YMCA in La Crosse has developed the new No Boundaries Summer Camp for anyone with disabilities and over the age of five.
Camp is a summertime staple, where campers discover abilities, form lifelong friendships and make cherished memories. It’s a part of childhood that all youth should have an opportunity to take part in. And according to data from La Crosse, Onalaska, and Holmen School Districts for the 2017-2018 school year, about 1,700 students in the community have a disability.
That’s why Briana Spicer, YMCA recreation therapist and head of the Y’s Inclusion Department, introduced the idea for and organized the camp. For area families, that means an adaptive camp option closer to home, as the next nearest is in Wisconsin Dells.
Adaptive camps benefit caregivers, campers, and families
In addition to being a lifelong positive memory for campers, camp is also an opportunity for parents and caregivers to have a much needed break. Time away from supporting those with disabilities has been shown to have a positive impact on many individual and family outcomes, including reduced stress, decreased fatigue, increased family quality of life, reduced social isolation and improved relationships.
The No Boundaries Summer Camp experience
The Y is partnering with the North American Squirrel Association to provide campers with various adaptive outdoor opportunities, including pontoon rides, fishing, kayaking, frisbee golf, and hiking. Other camp activities include music, arts and crafts, technology, cooking, sports, gymnastics, fitness, swimming and outdoor play.
All programing is designed to increase campers’ independence, self-esteem, exploration and overall well-being while also building social competency skills to increase self-awareness, self-management, relationship management and responsible decision-making.