We believe in the power of adventure in children’s lives. Sharing adventure with others is the biggest reason we began this adventure into mom blogging. We are so excited to share the Canyon Kids and Bretton Woods Adaptive Programs with you! This program brings together the best of the best, created by David Ritter, the Director of team building & Outdoor education at Bretton Woods, and Christine Sproat, Occupational Therapist and Owner of Canyon Kids Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services in Bethesda, MD.
There are 3 main adaptive programs:
- Summer Adventure Camp for Children 8-16
- Summer Day Camp for Children 6-15
- One on One Guided Adventures for Children of all ages all year.
The Adaptive Summer Adventure and Day Camps integrate 1 to 3 campers with special learning, sensory, social or motor needs into Bretton Woods’ Adventure Camp Program. This small group of campers function as a small group within the camp with traditional group of similarly aged campers. This is all made possible with trained staff and volunteers who work under the guidance of Christine and Dave to modify activities to meet the abilities of the campers, provide structure during down time like transitions, wait time during activities and help foster positive social interaction with peers during games or exploration. This program is designed to support campers with sensory, motor, self-regulation, social or motor planning needs who are able to integrate into a group of peers.
The One on One Camp Experience is designed for campers who benefit from more structure and support to integrate into the Summer Adventure and Day Camps. This program is designed to accept campers who are in a self-contained classroom, who might have more significant communication, sensory motor, self-regulation, gross and fine motor needs.
One on One Guided Adventures are available year-round. Christine Sproat and Dave Ritter design outings that are run by trained outdoor adventure staff who have experience working with children with special needs and running adventure activities. Outings can include: trail hiking, canoeing, ropes course, swimming and creek play, building a camp fire, building go-karts, stand up paddle boarding, archery, kite building, and more.
I was excited to learn more about making these adventures accessible for everyone. Christine shared her inspiration for the program, “I started the outdoor adaptive program because I wanted children of all abilities to be able to experience adventure in the great outdoors. As a clinician and OT treating in a therapy gym, I saw that often my clients would make more progress in shorter time when our activities were outdoors. Children that were not speaking, when outside started to point and talk, children that could not coordinate movement were able to hike over rocks and through streams without falling and children who were so fearful of getting on a therapy swing, were rappelling down a mountain. I found that the outdoors was a sensory playground that seemed to bring a natural challenge for each child despite their needs. With every adventure each child exceeded their goals and our expectations! This is when I knew it was vital to create a program like the Canyon Kids and Bretton Woods Adaptive program to make outdoor adventure accessible to all children, especially those with special needs. Dave Ritter and I first started an outdoor adaptive after school program that has now become a summer long camp program on the grounds at Bretton Woods.”