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Dragonfly Dreamtime - August 17, 2012 - St. Croix Courier

posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:23 PM by Dragonfly Centre for Autism Inc

Dragonfly Dreamtime

Aug 17, 2012

 

Another transformative Dragonfly Summer Camp session has come to an end for this season.  We were able to run three two-week sessions this year; two sessions for kids aged 6 to 11 and one for kids aged 12 to 18.  The weather was ideal for our many beach walks, bike rides, Chamcook mountain hikes, Kingsbrae Garden Zoo visits, fishing boat trips, island picnics, daily wading pool play as well as all our indoor singing, dancing, exercise, art and game time. All of these activities are part of a holistic approach to therapy based on music, art and nature that is unique to Dragonfly in the province of New Brunswick.  Our campers enjoy and thrive on all the action.

Every camp activity is geared specifically to the ability and challenges of each individual child and is guided by his/her personal teaching assistant who leads, encourages and monitors progress with the direction of a professional music therapist, input from occupational therapists as well as our highly experienced program coordinator.  Goals are targeted and evaluated daily with tactical adjustments made to improve probable success rates.  It sounds a bit like boot camp but is a totally fun and expanding experience with opportunities not readily available to most families dealing with the huge challenges of raising a child with autism.  The camp opens new doors of opportunity for expression and personal development for kids who are not readily accepted by the “normal” world of play and adventure.  They get to experience, participate and learn everyday “kid” stuff in an environment that meets to their special needs without stigma or fear.

It costs thousands of dollars to operate Dragonfly Camp even for six short weeks of summer.  None of it would be possible without the original permanent endowment fund founded by the J.T. Clark Family Foundation for Dragonfly and managed by Fundy Community Foundation.  A base pledge of $10,000 was established in 2007 and $15,000 was added to that over the next three years.  The interest generated by theses funds forms a major element of the budget that allows us to provide our rewarding and successful summer camp program.  Funds from the Tecelote foundation under the direction of John and Lucinda Flemer make it possible for us to hire the specially trained music, art and occupational therapists we have on a seasonal basis.  We have also had numerous community fund raising events that are successful but that do not nearly match the generosity of these two major donors.

Sometimes people think that ten or twenty dollars wouldn’t do much and isn’t enough for a donation to make a difference.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!  Every dollar when added to a base fund like the Clark Foundation at FCF builds and expands the possibilities and potential for financial security for our camp.  The larger the core dollar investment then the larger the interest proceeds.  Every single brick added on the solid foundation enhances the stability and strength of the final structure.

The demand for autism support services continues to grow at alarming speed both here in Charlotte County and around the world.  The unique programming provided at Dragonfly summer camp, as well as year round additional services available at our Resource Centre, help lead our children living with autism and their families to a higher quality of life which in turn benefits the entire county.  If you would like to learn more about our programs or about how Fundy Community Foundation helps makes it all happen, please call or drop by Dragonfly Centre or FCF for more information.

We will be getting back to more regular office hours now that camp is over and will have a new schedule of fall events and activities ready soon.  We hope to have a few more mini weekend camp sessions if the weather continues at this amazing rate and would love to hear from local musicians that might like to get involved with our program.  Be sure to call 465-8900 or drop by soon.

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