Camp Hello season is a fun and busy time around the clinic. This year we are running Kinder Prep Camp, Preschool Camp, and Stop Motion Animation Camp. Additionally, we are running our year-round Parents’ Night Out program and Tuesday Social Skills group. Whew! So much hard work goes into making these camps happen. Usually, our clinicians start thinking about a theme or idea they have in January or February. They then slowly flesh out their ideas over the winter months, coming up with fun themes as well as therapeutic targets and age ranges. In early spring we start collaborating with both Portland State University and Pacific University to select the graduate students who are essential to camp success. By late spring, we’re ready to start spreading the word to families and our community partners and then, before we know it, it’s time to start camping!
I like working with my fellow clinicians. During the year, we meet around the lunch table once a day, but rarely do we see each other providing therapy, so camp is a great time for us to work collaboratively. Planning, mentoring, and problem solving together has taught me a lot about the personalities and therapy styles of the clinicians with whom I work. We each bring something different and something of value to the team.
Focusing on supervising students for a few hours a week has been a nice change in routine for me. It seems to work a different “clinical muscle” and has helped me think more critically about providing feedback and modeling.
In Kindergarten Prep group this year we selected a different book each week and created activities related to each book that target our ST and OT goals. It is fun to see all the creative activities the grad students have developed around each theme.
For me, having the chance to work together with Christina and Laura has been one of the best parts of this group. So much of our job is working with clients independently, so having the opportunity to collaborate and observe other clinicians is so beneficial.
We keep brainstorming additional groups, based on the needs of our clients and our areas of clinical interest. Christina and I are in the process of planning a life skills group for some of our older clients, and a lot of clinicians are trying to come up with additional opportunities for collaboration.
Ad there you have it! This year’s camps are winding down but the thinking and planning have already started for the 2020 camp season. Keep an eye out for future camps, including year-round opportunities for groups and social activities.