Summer Day Respite Camp 2023
Registration is now CLOSED
However – if you are still looking for Camp:
Send an email to email@example.com
Dates: July 10-14, July 17-21, July 24-28, July 31-August 4, August 8-11
Location: St. Pius X High school, 1481 Fisher Avenue, Ottawa ON K2C 1X4
Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 pm Cost: $800 per week, $640 August 8-11
Before/After Care Hours: Cost is $75.00 per week ($60 August 8 week)
Allows for up to 1 hour before &/OR 1 hour after - Between 8-9 am, between 4-5 pm
Cost for Third Party Providers (3PP): $820 per week, $660 August 8-11
FINALLY – all the “i’s” are dotted and the “t’s” are crossed!
As the World seems to be recovering from the challenges of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic that impacted Children at Risk’s Respite Programs since 2020 - we are EXTREMELY excited to again to be able to Offer Our 13th Year of Camp Kaleidoscope for 2023!
We applaud our Community Partners - the Ontario Ministry of Education & the Ottawa Catholic School Board – who both enable our Program to use a School (with ALL Rooms/Gym Air- Conditioned) for Camp K – so we are a GO!!
Applications will be taken up to Friday, May 26, 2023 midnight. ALL Camp Applications will require $100 Deposit to be considered.
The Deposit is Non-Refundable but will be applied to Camp Fees & Membership.
ALSO – We are again offering Before/After Care between 8-9 am and 4-5 pm for a Fee of $75 per week ($60 August 8 week)
Application: Registration is using a Link to a secure Google Drive – To apply for this year’s Camp Kaleidoscope, please click here. Please note, that you will need the following before you begin:
- Alternate Contact names/telephone numbers
- List of your child’s Medications/Supplements (those taken at Camp & at Home)
- Your child’s Health Card Number
- The name, telephone number of your child’s doctor/location of the Doctor’s clinic
- Your child’s height/weight
SOME POINTS FOR THIS YEAR:
- 7 Hours of Camp – 9 am to 4 pm
- Cost $800 for weeks 1-4 $640 for week 5
- Before/After Care 8-9 am, 4-5 pm available for $75 per week ($60 August 8 week)
- As our Camp Location has limited Space this Year - Campers will initially only be considered for a Maximum 2 Weeks – you can Register for More but weeks may be limited due to Space/Community Needs
- Registrations are NOT taken on a First-Come Basis – All Application Requests accepted up to Midnight Friday, May 26, 2023. Applications can be made after this Date but subject to Space
- Allocations will be completed by June 12, 2023 and Confirmations within a few days - with options for additional weeks - Payment MUST be made in Full with Membership once you are Notified
- All Participant Families must have a Current, Up-to-Date Children at Risk Membership - Membership of $100 for New Families, $65 for Current Families (needed for Insurance Liability Purposes)
- If Bank Etransfer - use Email firstname.lastname@example.org and Put In Memo CampK - Other Payments will have to be arranged through our Offices at 613-741-8255
- Intake Interviews for New Campers will take place prior to confirmation of Registration VIA Skype or other Virtual Medium
- Please send a Photo of your child to email@example.com The should be a face-on, shoulders/head shot – no hat or sunglasses. If you cannot email – text to 613-261-4442
With the high level of supervision and experienced staff, the average cost/Camper for Camp Kaleidoscope's 5-day week is $1,700+.
However, our lower Fees are due to the generous funding of our Donors – who, along with Children at Risk, wish to assist the Autism Community families with camp opportunities that are affordable and accessible.
Children at Risk, Ottawa will again be offering Camp Kaleidoscope - an all Day Summer Respite Camp (established in 2011) for children diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for the Summer of 2023
The King’s Daughters & Sons (Ottawa City Union) & The Difference Makers will continue as our Major Donors– and along with Donations, Fundraising and other private Funders, plans are again for 5 weeks of Camp this summer! Additionally, for 2023 we are AGAIN receiving a significant Canada Summer Jobs Grant.
We also want to express our Appreciation to the Ottawa Catholic School Board, The Ontario Ministry of Education and the Provincial Government
Individuals with any level of Autism have difficulty with Summer Camps due to their social and communication deficits as well as their unique behavioural challenges. Add in “Severe” Autism and “High Needs” and the situation is immeasurable in complexity. To adequately service the target clientele the camp needs to be a “specialized camp”.
We would also like to note here that we differentiate between level of functionality and need, as we have many Campers with a diagnosis of high-functioning Autism and/or Asperger Syndrome – but also were high-needs due to behavioural challenges, often making it difficult for them to participate in a camp for typically-developing children – of whom many were in the Leadership Camp section.
Children at Risk’s objectives with a Specialized Camp is to provide a recreational camp which, through expertise and proven techniques, will accommodate the deficits of autism such as communication, socialization and behaviour seamlessly whilst allowing the Camper to have the stimulation, excitement and fun that summer camp is renowned for and an understated right of any child regardless of the severity of their disability. Too often children with severe Autism are denied access to programs and/or if access is granted, the parent must pay extra to send a 1:1 worker. This discriminates against a child with higher needs and penalizes both the child and their family by not having this opportunity that is available for typically-developing children!
Our Camp Spaces are limited - with plans for only 50 children per week.
Our Camp employs qualified, experienced staff and offers a 1:1 and 2:1 supervision ratio. Ages 4-21
The Camp will address three main areas:
- The Camper- Provide a safe, accommodating, non-judgemental day camp for the Autistic child. Provide the camper with the opportunity to improve social skills, sense of autonomy, leisure skills and play repertoires and possibly make life-long friendships. Objectives include:
- Maintaining or improving the child's functioning level
- Maintaining or improving existing skills and/or to develop new skills
- Continuing the child's school program or routine
- Parents & Siblings - Benefit parents by allowing them the reduced stress from knowing that their child is with understanding individuals who will accommodate their child and not expel them from camp for the slightest infraction of social behaviour. This also provides the parent the benefit of knowing that they have a number of weeks where they can maintain their normal working hours and not use up their full annual vacation time to supervise their child. Also to provide families with the opportunity to spend dedicated time with Siblings that in many families, unintentionally suffer due to the demands of the child on the Spectrum.
- The Community - Extend Summer employment to Post-Secondary Students, Educational Assistants and Special Education Teachers – and provide them with appropriate training pertinent to the ASD Spectrum and provide hands on application in real life situations that will benefit all children that they teach and especially those on the ASD Spectrum. Additionally, we look to Educate younger camp counsellors on the complexities of the ASD field and assist to make informed decisions about continuing in this area through higher education for i.e. ABA, OT, SLP employment or hands on activities.
Camp Kaleidoscope 2013 was yet another great success for Children at Risk – just much bigger in every way than we had anticipated! Over the 5 weeks, we provided 230 Camp slots from the 247 requested, for 101 Campers with a staff of 57 Camp Counsellors and Volunteers. This offered respite and peace of mind to 95 families. At Camp there were four distinct groups: Monkeys-our youngest age range, Dragons-our mid age range and Titans or the name of the week decided by the Campers for the Teens and older Campers looking for more challenging activities. In addition we had the Lightning Bolts with teens that required more assistance with life skills. One week we had so many Dragons that the Group divided into Red and Blue Dragons each with their own room!
Not only is Camp Kaleidoscope a day camp where parents are comfortable in the knowledge that experienced staff are accommodating their child and making close connections by being 1:1 but also where every effort is made to have the camper have the best possible time. In our quest to provide our Campers with a great summer day camp experience, we had a packed program both on and off site.
Thanks to the contribution of donations and Canadian Tire money from our membership, we were able to purchase an 11x8 foot oval SpringFree trampoline for all campers to get great use out. We also treated ourselves to a 12 foot inflatable waterslide that was used by those 150lbs and under – we tested this with Camp staff “test dummies’” and determined that over 150lbs you could get hurt – you also got fabric burns if testing it without water - The lengths Camp Counsellors went for their Campers and Camp!!
We also had access to a number of splash pads and water games, which greatly contributed to the excitement onsite. You didn’t always need to get wet to enjoy activities, a great deal of fun was also had through mad science cause and effect activities and some crazy but creative crafts as well as the treasured canvas’s the younger campers decorated and older ones wrote messages and signed as a lasting reminder of a great summer. In addition, there were also the long standing favourites such as the Campers decorating their own Camp T shirts, fun in the Gym with the scooters and plasma cars, shopping trips to the local Mall to buy the ingredients for the cooking and baking opportunities which ranged in complexity depending on the group – Chicken stir fry and burgers to rainbow pancakes, brownies and cookies.
Each Camp group also had their favourite activities. The Titans made papier-mâché masks and their own parachutes and tried them out from the top of the play structures – for toy characters not themselves! The Dragons were the kings of the messiest and most explosive mad science activities and crafts. They also loved the scavenger hunts whether it be finding something for each letter of the alphabet or finding the hidden dinosaur eggs.
The Monkeys would go out on Bug Hunts and could be heard laughing whilst enjoying Group Leader Melanie’s Angry Bird Game and their most favourite activity the whistling balloons. The Lightning bolts would complete puzzles or relax with soft music or being read to after some sensory fun outside.
As well as going off site to the Gloucester Pool twice a week there was also a mid-week trip to a local attraction with the WUBS buses being divided up by age and ability so that everyone got the best experience.
Week 1 - The rain storm was moving West to East so although the campers were concerned about the torrential rain at our Camp location, the word went out that the Directors had called Mother Nature and everything would be fine. We headed West and had a lovely sunny day.
One Group had Saunders’ Farm almost exclusively to themselves with a wagon ride and fun in the mazes and bounce cushion.
The 2nd Group had great fun at Karter’s Korners on the Go Karts, playing mini putt, basketball or going through a bucket of balls at the driving range.
Week 2 - It was the heat that was the issue so we had to go somewhere with air conditioning. The Museum of Nature provided IMAX movies, big Dinosaurs to the tiniest of Bugs, so something for almost everyone.
Week 3 - The Monkeys went to Monkey around for Jungle Gym and a pizza lunch and everyone not afraid of boats went to Dows Lake for Paddle boating, canoeing, kayaking and a particularly challenging scavenger hunt. Some of the Lightning bolts enjoyed the pool at Brewer Park and then everyone all met up at Brewer Park for some fun at the Splash Pad!
Week 4 - We returned to Saunders Farm but with many different Campers and those that had gone week 1 this time got to go to Karter’s Korners to be mini Mario’s. There are some that were naturals, others I wouldn’t be lending my keys too!
Week 5 – This is a difficult week as only 4 days and the last day we also have to be packed up and out of the school even though it takes us two-three days to move in and set-up. We had a terrific time being the guests of Sue Clark at the Arnprior Fair. The Midway staff donated two hours of their time to man the rides and side stalls, local businesses donated food so everyone had hot dogs, bags of chips, ice cream bars or popsicles and plenty of bottles of water. Week 4 - We returned to Saunders Farm but with many different Campers and those that had gone week 1 this time got to go to Karter’s Korners to be mini Mario’s. There are some that were naturals, others I wouldn’t be lending my keys too!
As well as enjoying the Fun House, Crazy slide, Ferris wheel, Flying Carpets, merrygo- round, and other fast and furious rides, Campers checked out the petting zoo and were entertained with live music over lunch. Simba added the “Camp K” touch with one of his wrap numbers for all those present to enjoy. This Video can been seen on our Facebook page. This was a fabulous day out for everyone which we hope can be repeated in 2014.
Pack-up day, everyone went to Skyzone where we had exclusive use of the facility. There was lots of bouncing off the walls and into the foam pit. Camp Counsellors had as much fun doing flips as the campers, if not more according to the picture!
Mother Nature this year was good to us with only one rainy day and holding off the tornado that struck the nearby golf course until after camp hours. Expecting to have more rain, there were many planned activities that we didn’t need to fall back on but we’ll have the supplies ready for Saturday Fun Club sessions!! An aerial view of Arnprior Fair As well as many great memories campers took home Camp Kaleidoscope Canvas’s. The Titan’s all signed and wrote messages to each other on theirs.
Camp Kaleidoscope would not be possible without the generous contributions of our major funders, some personal donations large and small, support from the CAR membership and autism community supporting our fundraisers such as the Fall Raffle, the Pumpkin auction and Pictures with Santa at Westgate Mall to name the few left in 2013 to get involved with. Also thank you to all those who supported the Garage Sale, by donating or purchasing items.
As well there were many planned activities that we didn’t need to fall back on but we’ll have the supplies ready for Saturday Fun Club sessions!!As well as many great memories campers took home Camp Kaleidoscope Canvas’s. The Titan’s all signed and wrote messages to each other on theirs.
“To Children at Risk.....A small letter of appreciation....
HAPPY...This is all that a parent wishes to see from their child. As a parent of a special needs son, this is my goal for my son, and this is what I saw every day when I brought my son to this very special camp...Camp Kaleidoscope. This is my son's second year attending this camp, and I was so grateful that he was able to attend for 2 weeks. There are just not enough words or emotions to even begin to describe how I feel. The staff of this camp are ALL so pleasant and helpful. Each morning we were always greeted with big smiles and happy and positive attitudes.
I always left knowing that my son was in good hands, I felt reassured, knowing he was safe and happy. The staff truly love their job and if shows in the way that they care for our kids. We leave our kids with them for the day - we put our trust in them. This is truly an amazing camp. There are not a lot of services or camps that are offered for special needs kids and the ones that are do not offer 1:1 ratio. Camp Kaleidoscope does, which is truly amazing. The kids are getting the special attention, care and support that they deserve. The organizers of Camp Kaleidoscope deserve a big KUDOS for their extraordinary efforts in putting this camp together, the dedication, long hours and hard work do not go unnoticed. The fundraising that is involved in this camp is unbelievable and on-going throughout the year, just to ensure that our special kids have the opportunity to enjoy and experience a summer camp adventure.
I am very fortunate and so grateful and extremely appreciative that my son was able to attend this year, his experience was a very positive one, he looked forward in going every day, he loved to see all the familiar happy faces, and he had fun, and at the end of the day he came home with a smile. I would like to thank everyone for this wonderful experience, and compliment all the staff for a job well done. I hope to see this camp continue to run in the future and years to come, our special kids need this and truly deserve it. With much appreciation and many thanks!”
“The Children at Risk (for Autism) Summer Camp means that I, a mother of two children on the Spectrum, can have an extra week of work. My husband and I both work full time. While the camp costs our family my entire paycheck for the one week they attend; generous donors offset these costs for dozens of families. I don’t want “special treatment”; I want what every parent wants – to know my children are safe while I earn income to support the family. The city run camps have been logistical and emotional nightmare because they hire first year university students who quickly become overwhelmed. At Children at Risk, my children had no such problems. There were no calls to my employer. The staff were experienced enough not to handle a crisis, but prevent one from escalating, which is a greater skill. Children at Risk greeted us with a professional air and a willingness to help us reach our goals of a varied and fun summer for the kids. Thank you to the Children at Risk Team for all you have done!”
“Thank you once again for providing our family with the option of summer camp for our son, Corey. As Corey is almost 8 yrs old, we have had him in a number of other social camps and similar settings however none have been so wonderful as Camp Kaleidoscope has been for our entire family. As a matter of fact, Corey has been "let go" at a number of other camps, including those which are well-known in Ottawa and established for the special needs community. As Corey's social behaviours are not always appropriate and he has many challenges with his peers, he can sometimes resort to behaviours which are unwanted in other facilities. Without an experienced worker in a 1:1 ratio setting, Corey is usually not successful in the setting, sometimes is asked to leave, and both he and us as his parents are lost as to where to turn for support.
Since Camp Kaleidoscope started in 2011 and Corey has attended each of the past 3 seasons, we are delighted to say that, despite Corey's sometimes inappropriate behaviours toward his peers and others, we have not had to remove him from the camp environment either temporarily or permanently.
This is due to the experience, ability and understanding of the staff members who work with our child. This is one of many areas where we do not need to be concerned with constant phone calls to us to "deal" with our child because he is being disruptive as we have had to face over and over again with numerous other camp settings.
If it were not for Camp Kaleidoscope, we would find ourselves at a loss as to where to place our son during the summer, particularly where a 1:1 respite or similar worker would be much more costly and would not involve the many activities and opportunity for socialization as Corey receives through Camp Kaleidoscope. We are extremely thankful that there is now a place for our son where he is happy and continues to learn and grow despite his many challenges.
Thank you so much and please keep this going for our family and many others in the autism community!”
“My son Erik attended Camp Kaleidoscope for the second time this year. I cannot stress how important this camp is for him, and how professional and well qualified the staff are that take care of all these little adventurers. Furthermore, I am highly impressed with the opportunities that this camp offers to children afflicted with autism. We can send our child to this camp in the knowledge that he will be in a safe and secure environment, and be part of a program that greatly benefits his social skills.”
“My son Casey, age 5, had a fabulous camp experience at Camp Kaleidoscope. It was the first camp experience for him where he didn’t feel extreme anxiety because everything was set up according to his needs and skills, and where he could just go and have fun – like any kid in the summer. We will certainly sign up for Camp Kaleidoscope again. The counsellors were experienced, passionate and thoughtful, and the organization was welcoming and accommodating. Highly recommend!”
“Thank you so much for offering another fantastic summer of camp. Riley has never been so excited to get out the door in the morning! The caring & compassion of your experienced/well trained staff put my mind at ease when leaving my boy for the day. He is not the easiest child to work with. Your workers have always been patient & understanding when it comes to his unique needs. Thank you for an invaluable summer session. See you next year!”
“To the staff of Camp Kaleidoscope - I wish to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for another great summer experience for William as well as for our family. We really didn’t worry about William when we drop him off in your care each morning. William had a wonderful summer and it’s truly because of his experience at camp. He looked forward to coming each morning to experience another wonderful day. His highlight was capturing the grass snake and the mouse. I really want to thank all the staff for all their hard work in keeping our children safe, however a special thank you to Jasmine for her continued patience with William. She never shied away from any challenge he posed to her. We can’t wait for next summer!!!!”
“I just want to send a thank you to you, all the staff and all the volunteers for making Camp Kaleidoscope such an amazing experience for my daughter Bryanna. Camp Kaleidoscope has been a saving grace for our family. We hope that it will continue to run in the coming years!”
“Greyson once again, had an amazing time this year. He went for 2 weeks this Summer, and it was a relief to know he was in an environment that was fun, safe and that he was so well-supported in every aspect. We've never had such good success with a program! We look forward to having Greyson with Camp Kaleidoscope for years to come!”
“We would like to express our thanks to all who made Camp Kaleidoscope possible. It is important to have specialized summer camp for children on the autism spectrum. A place for the children to enjoy, have fun, make friends, learn life skills, and for parents to feel safe about leaving their kids. That is what your camp did for our child. All your hard work involved in organizing and running the camp is truly appreciated. We hope this is something all can enjoy in years to come.”
“My son attended camp for the first time this past summer. Our experience was absolutely amazing. I'm a single parent with limited supports and the camp experience allowed me to gain peace of mind knowing that my child was in good hands. I was able to meet other parents who shared similar experiences, parents who understood the daily challenges of parenting ASD children without judgement. I also admire all of the staff for all of the excellent work they have done to respectfully teach my son new skills and for a more positive look at life. Thank you for making this opportunity available to both my son and I. It was an absolutely amazing experience, well trained staff, and a place that I will never forget.”
“My name is Ian Valade and I attended the summer Camp Kaleidoscope for the past two years for a couple of weeks. I very much enjoyed being at the camp as the counselors were nice to me and they helped me to participate in many activities. My special thanks to Matt and Omar!!! During the summer, this camp helps me to stay active and I get to visit some places with the group which I always look forward every year. I also know at the same time, my parents get a break during the summer while I’m away at the camp. Thank you for your hard work to put this camp for people like me. I look forward to attend the camp next year!!!”
(Special Note: Ian is a 22 year-old, non-verbal boy with Autism)
“Josh went to Camp Kaleidoscope for three weeks this summer. It was a wonderful experience for him. First of all, the organization and the staff are amazing. It is a great feeling to know your child is going somewhere that is safe and enjoyable. Next year, I would love to put him in the camp for 5 or 6 weeks. The kids and parents are lucky to have such a wonderful camp to send their kids to at such a reasonable price because of the generous sponsors. It is truly appreciated. We also really enjoy the Saturday Program at Children at Risk. Thank you so much!”
“Hello Children at Risk team! We would like to thank you all for the great work you did in the summer camp this year, it was very helpful for our son and us. I won’t forget how my son was so excited every morning to go to the camp, we really need Camp Kaleidoscope every year because you really understand how to work with these kids - we really appreciate your great job!”
“Thanks so much for all the hard work by all at Children at Risk in organizing and running Camp Kaleidoscope. Gordie had such a good time during his week at camp. I really appreciate the fact that the camp is set up to accommodate high-need campers, even though higher functioning campers are accepted. There is just so little out there for kids like my son Gordie, who is impulsive, a high-risk runner and has sensory issues. He would not do as well in a program that is not set up to provide for his safety ( we had a close call last March when he attended a program run by a different agency and escaped the very first day) even if I provided my own one-on-one support which would be a requirement for almost any other program. While he is at Camp Kaleidoscope I can have peace of mind knowing that he is properly supervised at all times. While I do want him to have fun, his safety is my top priority always.
I also appreciate that the fees are kept as low as you can keep them and still provide fun activities and the proper levels of staffing required by such a specialized camp program. Like many other families, we have not had an increase in our government funding in years. As a single parent who has to budget out the same amount of funding every year......while programs, pay rates for special needs workers and other expenses increase, I can use all the help I can get. You cannot even imagine how much we appreciate that Children at Risk provides the best program they can for the lowest fees they can charge.....it shows how much they strive to use their resources as efficiently as possible.
Here's hoping that you are able to keep things rolling. My son is turning 18 next summer and is aging out of programs for children, but there are many families with younger children that need the support, and Children at Risk's camp programs and Saturday programs help fill in a huge gap in the community. There are already existing programs for higher functioning children but programs for autistic children with challenging behaviours are few and far between, and what is out there can be very costly. Please pass our thanks along to everyone at Children at Risk, and all of the donors and sponsors that support the camp programs and other services offered by Children at Risk.”
“Camp Kaleidoscope has been a lifesaver for us. Our profoundly autistic teenage son has very few opportunities to participate in any summer activities. We very much appreciate the professionalism of this camp, the dedication of its staff and the fact that it is open to even the most disabled and non-verbal children who are least well served in the community. Alex has a big smile on his face when we drop him off at Camp Kaleidoscope and we know that he will have a day filled with safe and stimulating activities. Thank you to Children at Risk and Camp Kaleidoscope for their dedication to autistic children and their families.”
“Dear Camp K: I can't even begin to tell you how grateful we are for the opportunity for our son to attend such a wonderful summer camp! He looks forward to it year-round and even talks about coming back the following summer while attending the current session! What a great opportunity for the kids to try some new activities as well as enjoy the always-fun, standard swimming and other water games. I can't say enough about the staff at Camp K, always so warm and welcoming. Parents can feel confident when leaving a smiling, excited child in their care. I never hesitate to talk about how incredible Camp K is and have recommended it to all of my friends in my ASD network. Thanks Camp K, for another wonderful summer experience!”
“I would like to thank Children at Risk for another successful camp this year. My grandson, Cody, absolutely loves going to Camp Kaleidoscope. This is the only place that he can go where he has the necessary support to be safe and successful at participating in activities. It is extremely well run and well organized and our family can feel totally comfortable sending Cody there. Our family is thankful to have this camp and hope it will continue for many years to come. Thank you to everyone involved and keep up the good work. It is very much appreciated.”
Words cannot express how thankful we are that Children at Risk was able to raise enough funds, to organ“ize another specialty camp this summer. Through the years, our son Mitchell has participated in Camp Kaleidoscope. We only have the greatest praise for the staff who run the camp, and the counsellors who are able to meet the needs of the children. We sincerely hope that funding will become available, so that this much needed specialty camp will continue to operate for future years!”
“Our family is extremely blessed in that our 8 year old son attended three weeks at Camp Kaleidoscope this summer. Xander has Asperger's and finding fun social activities that he can participate in is extremely difficult. Over the years, his challenging behaviour has resulted in increasing isolation and we had pretty much given up on him ever being able to go to camp like a "normal" kid. Even when he tried camps that catered to things that he was interested in (e.g. computer camp), he was unable to manage and the experience was short-lived.
Camp Kaleidoscope is truly unique in that they know all about Autism Spectrum Disorders. They have taken the utmost care to ensure that camp is a safe and welcoming experience. The staff members are amazing. They connect with the campers and work so hard to help every child be successful and have fun. You can tell that everyone working with the camp is passionate about these very special children. For our family, the knowledge that our son was in an inclusive and safe environment was priceless. The relief that we felt knowing that the phone wouldn't ring at some point during the day to be told that he was being sent home, can't be put into words. Until you've lived with the stress and uncertainty of having a child who has been kicked out of so many activities, of having your stomach drop when the phone rings... It's very easy to become despondent and just stop trying to give your child a normal summer. Camp Kaleidoscope gave our boy the opportunity to be a typical kid and he's still talking about the fun he had and the people he met.
Camp Kaleidoscope fills a definite need for the families of special needs kids. Thank you so much!”
“Let me first thank you very much for your great support and help to all children that were in the camp including my daughter Mariam. I would like to confirm that she spent a great time at camp and we found out she has developed many skills during this very short period at the camp. Please we need this camp during every summer and hopefully even during Christmas and March break. Wish you all the best!”
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your camp and the people that run it. My son, who has special needs, thoroughly enjoyed himself at your camp this summer. It is hard to find places like yours that welcome children with special needs and for that I thank you. I sincerely hope that you can get the funding necessary to have the camp again next year--I know Eleyeh and many other children would be elated to go back. Thank you for all your wonderful work!”
“My wife and I want to send Children at Risk a big and sincere thank-you for putting together Camp Kaleidoscope again this year. We appreciate the time, effort and expense that is associated with organizing and hosting a summer camp for children with special needs. Our son, Zac, attended four weeks of the camp and we have nothing but positive things to say about his experience. The counsellors that worked with Zac were fantastic. We would like to recognize them for their effort and dedication to ensuring Zac had a fantastic four weeks of camp. While everyday was great at camp, Zac enjoyed the day trips the most. Each week had a different outing that offered a new experience for all. Zac would say the trip to Karter’s Korner was his favorite! Swimming is another favourite activity for Zac, thus the trips to the wave pool were also a highlight for him. He just loved Camp Kaleidoscope, and cannot wait to attend next Summer. We are truly grateful that Children at Risk took on the initiative for the third straight year to put on Camp Kaleidoscope.”
“It was just a great summer camp at Kaleidoscope this year. It was really fun for both kids and the whole family together. What a great staff team and volunteers you all really made a difference in the kid’s life and our family two. My both kids look forward to go to this camp or any day activity at your building. It was great see them smile every morning when I drop them off - also the same when I pick them up. Thank you so much for all your efforts and your hard work all year around. We are truly and deeply blessed with Camp Kaleidoscope and with all the services from Children at Risk.”
“I've already passed this message on to people at the camp, but thank you for providing such a good experience for Kien. He is thrilled to be there, excited to tell me about his day, wants to go back next year & surprise of surprises, insisted on leaving his DS in the car this morning. (For DS, read security blanket!) He's not even complaining about the heat! He said “It was the best camp ever! I liked the swimming and the fun. I'm going back!" As I mentioned, Kien has been to a number of camps, some he liked and some he didn't, but I've never seen him this enthusiastic. You guys must be doing something right. Thanks so much. If there happens to be a waiting list for any of the other weeks for this summer, let me know. I'll certainly be putting Kien on the list for other programs. Looking forward to next year!”
“To All Staff, Counsellors and Volunteers: I wanted you to know how our Family feels to have our son, Alexander, in your most capable and loving hands throughout his days at Camp Kaleidoscope. Peaceful, relaxed and relieved are just a few of our feelings – and of course, joy! You are all the most dedicated, caring people that we have encountered in many years. You should be very proud of your Camp atmosphere, your extremely caring attitudes and all the wonderful adventures, outings and more that you provide for all our kids in need!
The Camp itself is so wonderful, but all of you are to be commended in your efforts in putting a smile on each Camper’s face – each day, each week. Thank you so very much for making Alex so proud of himself – appointed as Assistant Jr. Camp Counsellor this year! He has truly benefited from what your Camp offers and found great joy each day he went in. We, as a Family, can never say enough about Camp K and all that you provided for not just our son, but may families in our community. May you all enjoy a much deserved rest before you head off to your other jobs! With heartfelt THANKS and hope to see you all next year if your generous donors can make it possible!!!”
Thank you to all the Staff who worked at Camp Kaleidoscope 2013, it was truly a team effort. Everyone was there as they love the Campers and it showed in your dedication, smiles and laughter. Hope to see you at future CAR Camps & Clubs.
“I wanted to let you know what a tremendous impact Camp Kaleidoscope had on my 8 year old son this past summer. He attended Camp Kaleidoscope for 3 weeks, and it was a true blessing. He was surrounded by people that understood him, that supported him during any struggles, and cheered him on during his achievements. He looked forward to going every morning, and wanted to stay longer when I arrived to pick him up at the end of the day.
Without hesitation, I would say that this was by far, the best summer of his life! I don’t know how to accurately express the emotion I would feel being able to see my son so happy and excited about being in a social situation, while at the same time, feeling accepted. I was absolutely elated!!! Finally, somewhere where he can play, participate, and was encouraged to just have FUN; while always being SAFE! Can you imagine how you would feel if this was your child?
Camp Kaleidoscope is an extremely valuable, important, and treasured commodity for ASD kids and their families. This camp is not a luxury, it is a NECESSITY!!!
From the bottom of my heart; I would appreciate the funding support that ensures Camp Kaleidoscope is available and affordable for our ASD children. Please help us, help them. This camp allows them to reach their potential, and truly understands that different is NOT less!”