I am sad to say, but our summer camp has come to an end for the year. However, we were really happy to have this great group of campers (12-14 year-olds). We ended the two week session with a vehicle visit. Campers were able to go inside a fire truck, police car and a real race car! Our visitors were super nice and even let us sit in the driver's seat (keys removed thank goodness). Even though it began raining right when our vehicles came to visit, campers were good troopers and stayed outside! We got some envious looks from the Hockey Camp that was going on in the rink when they saw all of the cool vehicles we had visiting! Thanks to Station 6 (Spryfield & Herring Cove) for bringing their fire-truck and giving us a demonstration of putting on gear and showing us what a fire-fighter might look like if they come to our homes. Constable Jason Wilson (the Community Officer for Spryfield) brought his police car and also showed us all of the equipment he has on his belt. Finally we would like to thank Cole and Jarett Butcher for bringing in their race car! Campers did a great job claiming into the driver's seat through the window and even getting back out on their own! It was all a really great experience and we are so thankful that these visitors could come visit us every session this summer!
Hoping that all campers have a wonderful school year and be sure to register for some other awesome Autism Nova Scotia programs! We hope to see you all again next summer (and maybe even at March Break Camp!) Thanks for reading my blog posts, it has been enjoyable writing some snippets of camp life and taking lots of photos.
Catherine (Camp Coordinator)
Last week on Tuesday and Wednesday we had our big outings! On Tuesday, we took our re-scheduled trip over to Dartmouth on the ferry. We took the #20 bus all the way from the top of Drysdale to Barrington St. at Prince St. We walked down the hill and were able to eat lunch at the little park on the Halifax side beside the ferry terminal. Campers watched for familiar boats such as the Harbour Hopper, the Ferry and Theodore Tugboat. We had a nice (and windy) ferry ride over to Dartmouth. Campers had more time to play at the Alderney Playground because we had already eaten our lunch! Campers had a lot of fun on a big saucer where a number of campers could sit and be spun by counsellors. Our trip back went great as well and we went straight to Chocolate Lake for a swim!
On Wednesday we went on another outing to Bayers Lake to play at Hop, Skip, Jump! Campers made their counsellors work very hard to keep up while adventuring around the awesome indoor playground. Big hits were the huge slides, the ball-shooters and of course, the ball pit! We ate our lunch in a party room and then got to play a little longer before the bus came. We went to Chocolate Lake again in the afternoon and had another beautiful, sunny day!
I included a picture of the snow piles in the parking lot of the Centre because we found it super funny that on some of the hottest days of the summer, there were snow piles! A few snowballs were made!
On Wednesday the weather was calling for pouring down rain so we decided to go to the Spryfield Bowlarama instead of the splash pad at Westmount School! Campers were troopers and walked through heavy rain to go bowling. We spent an hour having fun at the bowling alley and when it was time to go back to camp for lunch, the rain had let up. We spent that afternoon swimming at the wave pool again. Chocolate Lake closed on Tuesday evening due to high bacteria levels, but we are so lucky to have the Wave Pool right down the street for another option. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we can visit Chocolate Lake next week sometime but we do love the wave pool too!
On Thursday we spent the morning hanging out around camp. We made and played with Moon Sand outside on a tarp. One camper/counselor duo put moon sand in a shell mold as you can see in the photo above! We got everyone to stay in the lunch room a little longer so that we could set up Glow Bugs in the gym. We turned out the lights and hid the glow bugs (plastic eggs with battery-powered tea-lights inside) and the campers got to catch these bugs and put them back in their cage! In the afternoon we swam at the wave pool again and had a great time! When we arrived back at camp, we still had an hour and a half and it was Music Time with Alex (our Music Therapist/Senior Leader). Crowd requests included “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, some Taylor Swift songs and Rocketship Run. Campers and counselors played instruments such as shakers, tambourines and boom-whackers (hollow plastic tubes of different lengths for different pitches) along with Alex on the guitar. Music was a preferred activity for many of the campers and it was a lot of fun!
On Friday we went to the Splash Pad at Westmount School. We had planned to go to Dartmouth on the ferry and play at the Alderney playground, but we were unsure of the weather so we’ll save that trip for sometime next week! Margaret (our Camp Director) was thoughtful and created some Social Stories to help campers prepare for the change in the schedule. It ended up being a lovely day and it was great to cool off in the splash pad. It was funny to see some counselors get soaked when they thought the sprinklers were off! Some campers played on the playground, enjoyed a snack in the shade or played on the swings. It was a wet and wild day because we also spent the afternoon in the water at the wave pool! After the swim we enjoyed a snack and hung out in the ball pit, in the quiet room and the art room until it was time to go home! We had a really fun week and are looking forward to Monday to see our campers again!
Catherine (Camp Coordinator)
This week we welcomed our final group of campers for the summer, our 12-14 year olds! Even though the summer may be winding down, our schedule at camp sure hasn’t! We started the week off with a visit from Little Ray’s Reptiles! We learned about reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and asked some great questions. Campers were brave and touched and held several of the animals. Even some of our counselors faced their biggest fear and held Chewbacca, the tarantula!
Many campers have been enjoying the playground, especially the slides! For the most part we had beautiful weather this week so it’s great that the campers could spend lots of time outside. We went to the Wave Pool on Monday afternoon and campers enjoyed the hour-long swim featuring waves, a water-slide, floating tubes and a rock-climbing wall.
On Tuesday, we hiked up the hill behind the wave pool to our garden plot. Things have really been growing! We have corn that is taller than our campers, tomato plants just about to burst, flowers growing and some varieties of lettuce. We were greeted by a woodpecker and campers weeded and watered the garden while others relaxed in the shade. One camper got to help fix an Adirondack chair and others looked everywhere for spiders and their webs. We walked back to camp to enjoy lunch in the cool of the lunch-room. In the afternoon we took the bus to Chocolate Lake for a swim! The water was a little bit chilly but it didn’t stop campers or counselors from going in! We had some time at the playground afterwards and we all fit on the same bus for the trip home. Busses have been getting busy as September nears, but members of the public have been really great at helping us make sure that all of our campers are seated. We have had some really great and accommodating bus drivers this summer so we thank Metro Transit for getting us around town!
On Wednesday we had a visit from Sean of Little Ray's Reptiles. He brought along a number of scaly friends! We learned about each animal and had the opportunity to touch or hold all of the reptiles. Some campers and counsellors faced their fears by holding Chewbacca, the tarantula! There was a lizard named Strawberry, a scorpion named Darth Vader, a Caiman, a Python and a tree frog named Booger (haha). Campers asked some questions and learned some really interesting facts about animals in captivity. It was a really fun day and thanks to Little Rays for a great presentation!
Last Friday, the 15-21 years-old Adult Camp went to Bowlarama! We didn't do this outing with our younger camps, so it was our first time there this summer! We experienced great hospitality from the staff at Bowlarama and our campers and counsellors all had a blast! Everyone got to put on bowling shoes and we had a number of lanes to ourselves which allowed campers to have many turns to bowl! Bowlarama also has a mechanism for wheelchairs that is a ramp you can hold and roll the ball down. There was also a wheelchair ramp up to the bowling lanes, so we were really impressed with the accessibility! We were also able to walk to bowling because it was so close to our centre and it was a beautiful day outside. Thanks again Spryfield Bowlarama!
On Monday this week, we continued our Gardening/Cooking and the campers who already gardened went Grocery Shopping and Cooking and the other half decorated birdhouses and went up to the garden. Our campers were very efficient grocery-shoppers so we decided to walk back from Sobey's instead of waiting upwards of 20 minutes for a bus. These campers were great sports and I think we all enjoyed the walk back. After shopping, I led a group of campers up to the garden. Right when we arrived, a huge male deer (with big antlers) ran across the field-space at the garden! It was a really cool thing to see so close to the city but I wasn't quick enough to snap a picture. That afternoon we swam at Chocolate Lake and we met some little ducklings swimming around with their mother duck. So cute!
We are now well into our 3rd session of camp! This is our adult group, ages 15-21. On Tuesday we had a field day and played Bocce ball, tossed a football around and played a bit of soccer. We went swimming at the wave pool in the afternoon and it was super fun!
On Wednesday we broke into two groups and half of us went grocery shopping at Sobey's while the other half decorated birdhouses for the garden. Later in the day, the group that went grocery shopping got to cook! They made really tasty pancakes that suited a number of dietary restrictions! So everyone got to enjoy them! The group that decorated birdhouses got to go up to the garden at the Spryfield Urban Farm. With help from Jessie, campers were able to weed and water the plants that our campers in other weeks had planted. We found some lovely things growing in our plot. There were beans, spinach, lettuce, some flowers, tomato plants and peas.
On Thursday we made Moon Sand in the morning and got to play with it later on. We set up a tarp inside because it was drizzling outside and we got to play with it as if we were at the beach. Some campers made castles, others made shapes with moulds. In the afternoon, we spent a beautiful sunny day at the beach at Chocolate Lake. Most campers got in the water, some played on the beach, some on the playground and others chose to do all of the above! When we got back to the centre, Alex was all ready to go for music time! Campers got to play a variety of instruments and sing along to some oldies, some new hits and some action songs. The Hokey Pokey was a big hit!!
Enjoy the photos and I'll be posting more next week!
Catherine (Camp Coordinator)