Curious about what we accomplished during this year’s Camp Banyan Spring Break Camp? Read on!

A total of 17 young people attended Camp Banyan March 26th-28th.  Such a variety of personalities! Our Theme was “Let’s Communicate!”  because to be successful as adults, we have to be able to ask questions, answer questions appropriately, listen to others as they speak and respond so that the conversation continues.  Good manners are all wrapped up in that package as well. 

Every young person wants friendships, whether they have special needs or not.  One starter tool we use is FROG (Family, Relationships, Occupation and Goals/Dreams).  These are conversation starters! Ask the person you are trying to get to know a question related to one of the areas. While role-playing, we discovered that follow-up questions can get into meaningful territory quickly!  Go ahead, try it with someone you don’t know well and see where it leads. 

One of my Celebration Moments was seeing a young man with autism approach another young man he didn’t know and intentionally ask him FROG questions at break time. The “silent wall” of self-consciousness has been broken down!  Another was when a very quiet young lady became more and more confident asking questions and sharing about herself. Score!

Becoming aware of negative self-talk, taking control of it and focusing on positive things to be able to function in the Green Zone (see Emotional Guidance Scale) is another important part of maturity. We talked in length about being positive influences on the environment around us.  Keeping the Golden Rule in mind is crucial (treat others as you want to be treated). If we are unfriendly or crabby, it’s harder for potential friends to want to approach us!

If you want to know more, browse the pictures… here and on our Facebook page and Instagram! I am so proud of Campers who tried new things—like dancing, sewing, hammering nails to make a sign, designing their own tie-dye fashion tee, role playing and theatre games—there’s too much to list here! We even got to learn about the foods and languages of other countries!

We are very grateful to these volunteers, guests and speakers who added spice to the meat of our educational program: Melissa Caylor, Colleen Argudo, Rachel Krolak, Brianna Larson, Michelle Dixon, Pat Zint, Linda Steele, Georgie Menke, Jordan Krolak, Kerstin Viemau, Bill Williams, Laurie Norris, Arlene Johnson and Wayne Wardell and Erin Toler.  It really does take a village! Thanks for your investment in our Campers!