|Pioneer Camp Inclusion Program|
At Ontario Pioneer Camp, we believe that all people are uniquely and wonderfully made in God’s image.
About 30 years ago we noticed that many children were extremely limited in their camping options due to their exceptionalities or special needs. Seeking to model God’s Kingdom as an inclusive place that demonstrates His love, our Inclusion Program was created to make it possible for these children to attend summer camp.
The inclusion program has evolved and developed over the years and is now offered in our Girls Camp (ages 11-18), Boys Camp (ages 11-18), Adventure Camp (ages 5-10) and Fuel (co-ed, ages 14-19) programs. In 2011 alone, we welcomed over 130 campers with exceptionalities across our many summer camp programs.
So how does the Inclusion program work?
- There are two leaders in a chalet with 3-4 ‘typically developing’ campers and one camper with an exceptionality.
Each camper is valued as an important part of their chalet and camp-wide community, so we tailor the camping experience to fit the needs of the specific child. A child with autism having sensory issues may need to be gradually introduced into the noisy dining hall by incremental steps meal by meal. A camper with a developmental delay would have their leader helping them socialize with same-age peers. Our qualified staff are trained to find ways to make the camping experience positive and inclusive.
And what has been the result?
A powerful and inclusive experience that has allowed all our campers, both with exceptionalities and typically developing, to build beautiful friendships based on mutual learning, shared experiences and joy, and a deeper understanding of the wonderful and unique image of our God and Creator.
If you are interested in registering your child for the Inclusion Program, you can fill out the Inclusion registration online (see below) and print out the reference and medical form below. These forms can be faxed or scanned and emailed to the main office. When our Director of Inclusion receives the paperwork, a personal meeting will be set up with the camper and their parent or guardian. This enables us to determine whether your child is a good fit for our program as well as to prepare our staff in advance to be able to meet the needs of your camper as best as possible.
We look forward to speaking with you about your child joining us at Ontario Pioneer Camp this summer and experiencing our inclusive community. With a little creativity and a lot of commitment, together we can make just about anything happen at Pioneer!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
To Register online