Cascades Club Inclusion Policy for Summer Camp Participants
The summer camp program(s) will do their best to accommodate children with special needs and integrate them as much as possible into the regular camp program.
It is essential that the child’s family provide thorough and accurate information about their child’s special needs prior to registration.
The camp director(s) will then have a conversation with the parent(s) / guardian(s) to discuss their child’s special needs and whether the camp is an appropriate fit for their child.
Following the initial conversation with parent(s) / guardian(s), if it is determined by the camp director(s) that the camp cannot safely meet the child’s needs, the camp director(s) reserves the right to act in what they believe to be the best interests of the child and the camp.
The camp director(s) may determine that extra support is required to ensure the safety and well-being of the child while (s)he is at camp.
Because many camp activities take place on or near water, an inherently dangerous environment, proper supervision is imperative and may need to exceed the standard of supervision normally provided at the child’s school.
As a general guideline, if the child requires an aide (full-time or part-time) at school, if they need any kind of ongoing extra assistance or attention, and / or if they struggle with transitions, they may require an aide at camp. The following extra support may be required for a child with special needs to ensure their safety and well-being at camp:
- Dedicated aide provided for and paid by the family. The aide should receive instruction about camp policies and procedures prior to the child’s start date at camp. The aide must adhere to camp policies and direction during camp hours.
- Dedicated aide provided by the camp and paid for in full or in part by the family. In this situation the camp will decide which staff member will be assigned to accompany the child. The family must recognize that the staff member will be an individual who has expressed an interest in and / or willingness to work with participants with special needs, but the staff member may not have any previous experience or training in working with children with special needs. The additional fee for the aide will be determined on an individual basis through consultation with the family.
- If it is decided between the camp director(s) and the family that a dedicated aide is not required, camp staff will be informed of the child’s special needs and given guidance (if applicable) on how best to accommodate them.
- If a specific camp activity is not suitable for the child, the camp will endeavor to provide an alternative activity that can be done in the same location, but this may not always be possible for safety and / or logistical reasons.
The camp will do its best to provide feedback to the family about their child’s integration and progress at camp. Parent(s) / guardian(s) are welcome to contact the camp if they have questions or concerns. Please note that during the day the staff members are busy supervising camp participants, but a staff member will respond to the family as soon as possible.
During the child’s time at camp, it may become apparent that the experience is not what the child and / or the family expected. If this is the case, the camp will provide feedback to the family and monitor the situation. A level of support different than what was originally expected and put in place may be required. The camp will work in partnership with the family if such changes are required.
The family must recognize, however, that the safety and well-being of the child and the other camp participants is the camp’s top priority. Changes to the child’s level of support or, if necessary, a decision as to the appropriateness of the child remaining at camp, might be required at the discretion of the camp director(s) to ensure the safety and well-being of the other participants and / or the integrity of the program.
The camp reserves the right to limit the number of campers with special needs as required to ensure the safety and well-being of the camp participants and / or to maintain the integrity of the camp program.
Cascades Club Board of Directors