July 12th 2021
We’re thrilled to have been able to fund another fantastic ‘ACE Camp’ for the wonderful children at Castlebar School.
The 2-day camp is designed specifically for children with autism and it’s proven invaluable for both the children and their parents.
We received the following report from the school, following the event –
The funding received gave 8 pupils the opportunity to spend a night away from home in a safe and fun environment providing opportunities to further develop their independence, interaction as well as communication skills.
It also enabled parents, who are sometimes cannot afford additional trips and outings due to their low income, to send their children on an amazing school journey. Furthermore, it helped parents who are often worried and anxious about their children spending a night away from home, be more at ease as they recognised their children were safe and their wellbeing and needs were met by trained staff members.
Since some children can find it very hard to spend some time apart from their parents and home. The length of the trip presented a fantastic opportunity for them to learn about new routines in a safe environment, and how fun it can be when they are with their peers at night.
The camping trip made it possible for the children to learn to have fun without any technology and spend quality time with their friends and adults in an outdoor setting. It gave them the freedom of being outside in fresh air and enjoying the lovely weather. It also encouraged them being physically more active as well as being cooperative towards each other through the different team building games. These games stimulated problem solving skills and empathy towards each other. Similarly, they showed the children how they could manage their own fears and turn weaknesses into strengths. They allowed the children to understand the concept of own preferences e.g. likes and dislikes.
The impact of camping on the children
Due to anticipated bad weather, the children camped inside the PE hall. The children further improved their independence skills. They learnt how to set up and put away the tents.
In addition, the children’s decision-making skills were enhanced throughout the trip. They were able to discuss beforehand what they would like to have for dinner. They talked about what they needed to buy in order to make the chosen meal.
The children were able to get themselves washed and dressed as well as they packed their things away. They learnt about looking after their belongings and caring for themselves.
The children learnt to be part of a group that is different from their usual classroom. They were able to regulate their emotions and fears regarding the new routines and situations of the trip. They could engage with their friends and make new friendships on the way. They learnt to work together as a team and support each other when needed it. They had many opportunities to share different equipment and take turns with each other during the games.
The camping advanced the children’s communication skills. They had many opportunities to talk to each other and staff members. Both ACE Adventure and Castlebar staff members were fantastic at supporting the children with their engagement, communication as well as independence skills by tailoring the activities to their needs. They had many opportunities to share different equipment and take turns with each other during the games. They learnt some new songs and enjoyed sitting around the campfire eating marshmallows with their friends.
“It allows our children to experience an event which they otherwise wouldn’t. It allows our parents to experience being away from their kids for a while too.”
“I liked seeing how happy the children were and what they gained from the experience. I also likes seeing how happy the parents were that their children were able to do that.”
“I really enjoyed it. Lots of fun activities and amazing opportunities for the children to experience. The campfire was lovely too.”