Take 2: An Innovative Program for Social Learning

Take 2 is a model program serving children with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism and their families. It affirmatively recruits a diverse group of children, serves families regardless of their ability to pay, and provides consultation to referring schools.
Aug 11, 2015

Reflections of a Take2 Summer

Teaching a camper to play checkers
Teaching a camper to play checkers

Our last day at Take2 was an emotional roller coaster--a swirling culmination of all of the thought, energy, hurdles and fun from the past month.  One minute, we were freeze-dancing and grilling hot dogs, and the next minute, we were bidding farewell to the people who enriched our lives, quickly swapping "good-bye" with "see you soon" instead.  

Halfway through our last day, a camper approached me in the quiet hallway to make a comment about his experience:  "This is the only camp where I have made friends."  It was unsolicited and unrehearsed.  At Take2, we teach our campers about the unexpected, usually in reference to behavior that is asynchronous with the social surroundings. But in this moment, "wonderfully unexpected" was the most fitting way for me to describe this camper's remark.  As the muffled sound of pop music, laughter and organized chaos drifted through the classroom doors, I reassured him: "The friendships don't have to end today."

So many small moments with staff and fellow campers precipitated this big one:  Early morning staff meetings to stage a conversation group; learning about "cool thought" scripts to think positively; creating socially-based goals and plans; coaching campers to self-advocate during game play; allowing a camper to write a "No Thank You" note to vent frustration; cheering on teammates at a daunting ropes course.  All the small moments come together before our eyes, sometimes without even realizing it, until one day a camper bravely steps out to say, "Thank you" in his own unique, beautiful way.  

These small moments are made from the fibers of your support.  As we bid farewell to another wonderful Take2 summer, I ask that you take credit for making this possible.  Thank you to all the incredible people, young and old, who have given to Take2 in charity, volunteerism and bravery.  

Fondly,

Callie 

Improv with the Middle School Camp
Improv with the Middle School Camp
Hedbanz with Counselors
Hedbanz with Counselors
Selfie at Ben
Selfie at Ben's Chili Bowl!
May 13, 2015

Community Growth, and Bonus Day!

Last week, I spoke with a parent inquiring about Take2 who exclaimed, "We need a Take2 in every state!"  It made me reflect on the growth of Take2 and our community.  

We grow our curricula, which are painstakingly revised and reviewed every year to keep lessons and activities new and up-to-date with the latest research on social instruction.

Last year, we extended our service to accommodate older campers so that middle school-aged children are able to experience the rewarding and lasting friendships that their younger counterparts have enjoyed for 12 years.  

We have broadened our geographical reach to campers who travel from places like California, New York, Japan, Canada and Hawaii to attend Take2 in DC.

Thanks to your contributions to our growth, we are able to reach families who would otherwise be unable to send their child to camp.  Your donations allow us to nurture the friendships and social success of those who benefit from it the most!

Today, Global Giving will be matching any donation up to $1000 received from 9:01am-11:59pm EST.  Any size makes an impact!

Thank you for your support, and for continuing to make our vision a reality.

Sincerely, 

Callie 



Links:

Mar 25, 2015

Building Curriculum. Literally.

In preparation for the trip
In preparation for the trip

This is certainly a first: I can say with confidence that I have never had a curriculum meeting at a hardware store before! 

The Take2 staff has done an exceptional job of envisioning activities for camp that target the same research-based principles in a fun, new way.  Most of them have been created and implemented.  Some of them, however, were at once wonderful and cost prohibitive.  This year, we decided to throw out the catalog, take matters into our own hands, and prepare for a very hands-on season of curriculum planning.  

What could we possibly be creating with raw materials like a tarp, lumber, and pvc pipe?  You'll have to check the next report to find out!  Until then, these previews will have to do:   

  • Talk tower - a pair of campers "blindly" bring a large tower to life by following only verbal instructions from one partner.
  • Blue Lagoon - a cooperative learning game in which many campers handle "the blue lagoon" together to reach a shared goal.
  • Hungry hungry humans - You may have seen this one on pinterest.  Campers will practice playing the "friendship game" with this 'activity time' game that resembles Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Several weeks from now, our wonderful staff will come together to build these curriculum activities for the Take2 community.  You, our dutiful supporters, provide us with the tools necessary to create a fun and inventive social learning environment; we cannot wait to reveal our progress.  Thank you for your continued dedication and support, which allows us to further our mission of helping children in our community with social learning needs. 

To track our progress and stay informed about Take2, you can also "like" us on our new facebook page! www.facebook.com/take2camp

Gratefully, 


Callie 

 
   

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