21 Plus Summer Day Camp
We held our 7th summer day camp at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff from the 24th – 28th July this year.
All 21 participants attended each day from 9:30am to 3:15pm, took part in a range of activities and received specialist speech and language therapy input from three Symbol UK therapists who attend for the whole week. Daily group sessions focus on a variety of communication skills and some target topic vocabulary for the week; children also participate in a whole group circle time session at the beginning and end of each day. Everyone receives feedback and a report from the therapist at the end of the week with suggestions for future targets and interventions which can be undertaken by the family themselves and shared with school and local speech therapists.
The children, aged between 7 and 12 years took part in sessions led by the Welsh Rugby Union, Cardiff City football, Welsh Gymnastics and Tang Soo Doo martial arts. In our ‘down-time’ we had interactive storytelling from the wonderful Dave at KeyCreate, craft sessions which included making capes, aprons and bracelets and own mini-olympics.
Volunteers are recruited from Cardiff University and Cardiff Met to support the children each day; the volunteers attend online training prior to camp and a workshop from the speech therapists during the week. The majority of volunteers are studying speech therapy, occupational therapy or psychology and bring a range of experiences and a great deal of enthusiasm with them. They gain a valuable insight into working with children with Down’s Syndrome which we hope they will take with them into their future careers.
Many of the children attend camp each summer and enjoy the opportunity to build friendships with other children who have Down syndrome too. It is a great chance to try new sports and activities in a safe environment with people who understand the specific profile of needs of the children. The families enjoy the chance for parents to spend time with other siblings or to meet with other families while the children are busy.