For many children, summer is packed with day camps and activities, and in Everett, a day camp has spent two decades offering a unique summer camp for children with special needs as well as their siblings. Camp Prov, put on by the Providence Children’s Center (a part of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett), includes swimming, arts and crafts, nature walks, music and visits to a local petting farm, all with support for children’s motor and communication development.
The camp is held for six weeks each summer, with more than 400 children attending each year. The campers include children with autism, seizure disorder and cerebral palsy. One of the big goals of the program is also to give parents a break.
The staff consists of an educator, activities specialist, speech language pathologists, occupational and speech therapists, and a family resources coordinator, helping guide campers through Camp Prov. The also staff includes teen volunteers, and some of them aspire to careers helping children with special needs, including 22-year-old Ellie Wicklund, who has helped at the camp for seven years and became a Exceptionality & Disability major at Western Washington University.
For the campers, the experience is fun and therapeutic, also providing an atmosphere for siblings to bond as well. Click here to read more about Camp Prov in a recent article in the Everett Herald, and click here to read more from the Camp Prov website. (Tim Pfarr)