Volunteers Maddy Colling (left) and Grace Bacon assist Barbara Beattie with cookie-decorating during the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre’s camp last week at Terry Fox Elementary. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Fraser Valley Child Development Centre summer camp all about fun

Kids with special needs attend week-long day camp in Abbotsford

A summer day camp held last week by the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre (FVCDC) in Abbotsford gave kids with special needs a chance to have fun while bonding with their peers.

The camp ran each day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Terry Fox Elementary and involved 14 participants, who were supported by approximately 30 volunteers.

Jessica Jessamine and Mike VanderGaag – both University of the Fraser Valley students who were therapy aides during the week – said the goal of the camp is for the participants to have fun.

“(It’s about) having fun, learning through fun, playing through fun,” VanderGaag said.

The camp has been running annually for several years, and the kids who attend have a variety of challenges, including physical and cognitive disabilities.

“Some have anxiety, some have hip dysplasia, some are refugees, some are Aboriginal, some have autism,” VanderGaag said.

The kids start off the day with a group yoga session and then move into one-on-one occupational, physical or speech therapy sessions.

Afternoon activities include visits with puppies, painting, crafts, adaptive baseball, and baking and decorating cookies.

Jessamine said the week provides an opportunity for social interaction and for the kids to enjoy a camp experience, which they otherwise might not get a chance to do.

“This is a place they can feel safe and just be themselves and interact with others that are like them, so it’s really, really fun for them,” she said.

The volunteers who are paired with the participants are as young as 10 years old, and some are previous campers themselves.

Also participating are university students, like Jessamine and VanderGaag, who are interested in careers working with children with special needs.

During the week, they are mentored by FVCDC therapists, gaining valuable experience for their future endeavours.

It’s a win-win for everyone, VanderGaag said.

“The camp, we set it up for the kids and we set it up for how much we can do for them, but they do so much more for us,” he said.

Jessamine described the camp as “super fun and chaotic, but in the best way possible.”

“I think every kid leaves here asking to come back the next day, which is our ultimate goal,” she added.

Visit fvcdc.org for more information.

 

Volunteer Jaspreet Atwal and camp participant Ezra Kayser get ready to add some sprinkles to their cookies during the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre’s summer camp last week at Terry Fox Elementary in Abbotsford. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Just Posted

Abbotsford schools get health and safety award for third year running

District gets recognition for training in crisis intervention, new violent incident reporting system

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

Abbotsford schools shift consent policy for McCreary health study

School board votes unanimously in favour of stricter parental consent policy for survey participation

Your daily commute and weather forecast: Dec. 13, 2018

Heavy congestion in Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey and past the Port Mann. Rainfall warning in effect

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

RCMP seize meth, drug-making equipment in large Lower Mainland drug bust

Surrey RCMP believes the ‘significant’ crime ring has ties to the regional gang conflict

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

5 to start your day

Torched-SUV victim from Surrey ‘had the purest heart,’ TransLink will bring free WiFi to buses, SkyTrain and Seabus by 2020 and more

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

Most Read