The Family and School Support Treatment Team (FSSTT) of the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) coordinates services for children whose educational path will require some additional accommodations in order to realize their potential. For children with emotional and behavioral challenges, the chance to ‘generalize’ learned skills is enhanced when other programs, such as a camp, continue to reinforce and expand their learned skill sets. Students can then realize that these learned skills are not just applicable in a school building, but also on a field, in a community pool, in a store, on a field trip, and most importantly, with new children and adults that come into their lives.
Every summer since 2009, the FSSTT has offered a rich and unique summer camp experience called Camp Venture for children with behavioral difficulties. Held in the month of August, the goals of the Camp Venture program are to:
- Provide a structure for pro-social emotional development activities in a recreational setting
- Bridge the gap between summer holidays and a new school year
- Teach the students something new, thus building a foundation for a continuing confidence in their burgeoning intellectual growth.
Over the years, we have created a program that reflects best practices in social-emotional learning; we maintain a high counselor-to-camper ratio and design activities geared toward recreation and the arts. There is much research to show that recreational activities as well as music and art serve therapeutic functions which greatly benefit the students served by this camp. The feedback from the counselors and the parents of the campers indicate that this camp does assist with the transition back to school and helps reinforce important social skills.