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

posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:00 PM by Dragonfly Centre for Autism Inc

Dragonfly Dreamtime

for July 17, 2012 St. Croix Courier


Great things have been happening at our Dragonfly Centre for Autism summer campsite in St. Andrews!  We were finally able to get new weatherproof double front doors for the building!  Not only is it fun to be greeted by the cheery bubble gum pink color but the staff are delighted with the smooth operation.  Getting four giant tricycles, a wagon and play toys in and out every day is a lot easier without having to do tug and kick battle to get the door open first!

Thanks to a grant from the St. Stephen/Milltown Rotary Club we also have a terrific new signpost at the end of the driveway. The previous one had served well over ten years but was badly rotted and listing eastward at an ominous angle. A sturdy unit made of pressure treated lumber was built & installed by Wayne Hooper and McLaughlin Signs did the Dragonfly design lettering.  Artist and teacher Jay Dampf donated a huge 8’ x4’ whimsical pink & purple cut out plywood dragonfly which is now attached to the front wall of the building.  He had also donated a fabulous painting to our recent Sunbury Shores art exhibition which you can still see on our Facebook page.

These facelift features help improve the look and function of the aging camp building as well as make the kids happy.  People with autism are sometimes more sensitive to color then most people and they really enjoy the bright, stimulating colors and designs.

Our first session of junior day camp is well under way and we are delighted to see the enthusiasm of our new campers.  They are anxious to get into circle every morning and sing their welcome song and get right into music therapy under the direction of Elizabeth Eldridge.  Child centered individual guidance focuses on active participation in both listening and making music and varying sounds to stimulate social interaction, self-awareness and movement.  Creative art time is designed to promote tactile stimulation and self-expression in ways that a child with autism may have great difficulty expressing verbally.  Daily bike rides, beach walks and wading pool play are all more fun ways that muscle and movement coordination are developed while practicing social interactive skills and experiencing the world of nature and adventure.  We are also very fortunate to have the special adventure of a boat ride and picnic time on Navy Island courtesy of BB Chamberlain.  One camper is convinced he is travelling on the “Shrek” boat and can barely contain his enthusiasm about the trip.  It is the highlight of his 2 weeks at camp!

We are encouraged by the response from families dealing with autism and we have enough campers registered to have three 2 week sessions for different age levels this summer.  We are still working hard to get the funding to offer even a few days of adult camp services before the summer is over.  There are twenty or more adults with autism living in Charlotte County but with NO services designed to help them socialize and participate actively in the community.  Dragonfly would like to expand the services we provide for youth to include some adults even if only on an occasional basis.  We will keep up our fund raising efforts and hope to realize this goal very soon. 

Thank you to everyone that has supported the Dragonfly concept since we began in 2002 as a pilot project and became incorporated in 2005.  We still need your help and look forward to new supporters from our generous community.