Special Needs After School Enrichment and Respite

by Richard Rosenthal JCC of Northern Westchester
Aug 6, 2013

Trailblazers at Camp Discovery

Summer is in full swing at Camp Discovery in Croton!  Our Trailblazer campers are successfully mainstreamed into our groups at camp with the support of their very competent Shadows.  We have anywhere between 1-4 Trailblazers in each of our groups and they either have their own Shadow or share a Shadow depending on the need of support of the camper. Our Shadows support our Trailblazers in all activities throughout the day making sure they are participating to their ability at sports, dance, theater, art, technology, archery, science, swimming and of course socializing and having fun! The patience and enthusiasm that our Shadows show for their campers is contagious throughout camp.  Our Trailblazers range from Pre K - 9th grade and have challenges such as Muscular Dystrophy, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Expressive and Receptive Language Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome yet whenever we have visitors at camp, they cannot tell that we even have a special needs component to our camp! 

The Trailblazer program at Camp Discovery provides a typcial full day camp experience for kids while allowing their parents to relax knowing that their child's individual needs are being met while they are learning to swim, socialize, make friends and have fun!  The Trailblazer program provides a respite for parents who want the child to experience camp but need more support than the average camper.  This one-of-kind program enables many of our campers to experience day trips to Eden Village for a first hand farming experience and a NY Mets Game and then overnight trips to Hershey Park and Club Getaway for older campers.  

The Trailblazer program also enhances our camp as a kinder, more compassionate and accepting community.  One parent of a neuro-typical camper said: “Being at Camp Discovery has made my child a nicer person.”  A Trailblazer parent wrote to us exclaiming: “ I am just so thrilled for him, that he can take these kind of emotional leaps is a big deal for him. Yea!!!! He is just thriving!!!!”


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Organization Information

Richard Rosenthal JCC of Northern Westchester

Location: Pleasantville, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.rosenthaljcc.org/​
Richard Rosenthal JCC of Northern Westchester
Project Leader:
Lisa Roberts
Pleasantville, New York United States

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