A cold and snowy morning outside, but a warm and toasty scene inside as Camp Cozy welcomed 30 campers through our doors . . .
After two years in a pandemic, our Encompass Pediatric Therapy team saw a common thread amongst the kids they serve: they are hungry for social interaction, and they need supported practice opportunities to be successful in these interactions. Our team responded by offering Camp Cozy – a two-day camp designed to provide kids with a variety of therapeutic activities and supported peer interactions while having tons of fun.
Day one of camp embraced our ‘cozy’ theme perfectly. As snow fell outside, 13 therapists from our Behavioral Health, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy teams welcomed 30 kids to the Child Development Center. Thanks to a generous donor, each camper was greeted with a fuzzy pair of winter socks and a water bottle.
Divided into three teams led by a therapist from each discipline, Team Penguin, Team Snowflake, and Team Blizzard rotated through activities specifically designed to include communication skills, emotional identification and awareness, and a mix of fine/gross motor skills. One favorite activity included selecting a beanie baby and decorating a shoebox to be a safe, supportive environment while discussing what helped each child feel safe in different circumstances. Another activity had kids laughing and smiling at the giant Gak bubbles they blew from a mix of Elmer’s glue, baking soda, and water. Perhaps the biggest hit was the super fun obstacle course that ended with an indoor snowball fight with a Yeti!
Camp Cozy provided these safe, stimulating activities with a focus on connection, building healthy relationships, and recognizing how kids and their grown-ups can be empowered to be their best selves. At the post-camp debriefing, several therapists remarked that Camp Cozy gave them a new perspective of the kids they see individually and helped them have a renewed sense of purpose moving into the new year. The Encompass team is already exploring a version of this camp model during Spring Break!