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Monday, April 22, 2024

WDSRA: Every child deserves a memorable summer

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Friendships. Sports. Crafts. Games. Swimming. Field Trips. These are all things that keep campers happy and busy during the summer. With each interaction they exercise the skills they have already learned at home and at school like practicing social skills, making good decisions and following directions.

With each adventure they are encouraged to stretch their imagination whether it be in the pool, on the playground or one of the dozens of places campers will travel. Each day they create the new memories that will help shape who they are and who they will become.

Meanwhile, parents are able to enjoy a brief respite from the otherwise long summer days. They know their child is in a safe space with people who want to help them grow, succeed and generally have a fun time.

At the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) we take creating these experiences seriously… well, as seriously as you can when your job is to bring the fun!

This summer we are running five different camps which meet Monday-Thursday for an average of eight weeks. We also have six weeks of Friday Field Trips and three weeks of Extended Camp. By the end of the season, WDSRA campers will have visited 139 locations including camp sites, pools and field trip locations.

Because our camps are for people with special needs, we make sure to accommodate for the needs of each camper. Many times, that means campers need one-on-one support. For some, this is their only option for a typical camp experience.

It takes a lot of exceptional one-on-one staff throughout the summer to properly staff camps. This year, with the number of head instructors and one-on-one staff needed in our camps, we are almost at a one-on-one ratio between staff and campers.

Did I mention families are never charged for one-on-one support? This is provided at no cost to each family. They only pay the regular camp cost.

Organizing, staffing and running camps are an expensive and resource-intensive endeavor, especially when providing one-on-one support for campers. That is why we are introducing a new initiative to help fund camps. The new Camps Gift Catalog can help support these efforts by providing the necessary materials and supplies. After all, it also takes a lot of supplies to keep so many little hands busy and active.

Donating to the Camps Gift Catalog can be a meaningful way to contribute to the camp experience and provide resources. With a donation, you are directly contributing to the happiness, growth, and success of campers during their summer adventures. Through the Camps Gift Catalog, you can sponsor a day of camp for as little as $34 or one-on-one support for $90. You could also keep the fun going by providing supplies like arts, crafts & games bags for $25. There are over a dozen ways to support campers this summer.

You can make sure every child grows up with experiences that enrich their lives! Your gift through the Camps Gift Catalog will help keep the adventures coming and those memories building all summer long!

For more information or to make a donation to support campers this summer, visit www.wdsra.com/wdsra-foundation/camps-gift-catalog.

To learn more about WDSRA, visit www.wdsra.com.

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Sherry Manschot
Sherry Manschothttp://www.wdsra.com
Sherry Manschot is the Marketing/Public Relations Manager at Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. She can be contacted at sherrym@wdsra.com. Learn about WDSRA at www.wdsra.com.
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