SUMMER CAMP 2017 “മഴവില്ല്”

Summer camps are one of the ways to stay active during the summer holidays, learn and also have fun. Insight summer camp for the year 2017 was held from 15/5/2017 to 19/5/2017 for five days. The theme for the camp was ‘colour’, to make the camp extra colourful. The camp days were made bright with staff and children wearing a particular colour on all the camp days. 25 students of age group 5 to 16 attended the camp.
The camp had multifaceted activities from gardening to cooking, art and craft work. Dance and folk songs added flavour to the camp activities. Each day started with prayer, had physical movements to relieve tension and improve cognitive processing, activities for skill development and self expression through folk songs and action songs to help them communicate.
1The first day had gardening to start with. Garden is a place with calming atmosphere and stimulates the senses of the children with autism. The students enthusiastically brought flowering plants from their homes and enjoyed planting them at Insight. The colour, smell and texture of the plants were appealing to their senses. There was team work among themselves while planting and watering. This experience has given them self confidence to replicate it in their homes.
2The second day gave them an opportunity to practice their culinary skills. The menu had fruit salad and puffed rice laddu. The students were able to identify and taste different fruits which enhanced their sense of taste. While making puffed rice laddu, they were able to feel the sticky jaggery inducing tactile stimulation. They had a wonderful time making them and eating it too with great delight.

3 Art and craft is part of any summer camp and here also the students had the opportunity to use their creativity in making fans using crepe paper. The decoration on the fans explicitly revealed their imagination and individuality.
4Children with special needs especially children with ASD, have problem with socialization and communication. They have difficulty in understanding family relationships and also to address them. The fourth day was a learning experience about family relationships by arranging photos of family members in a frame and decorating it using their unique abilities. It gave them tactile stimulation also as they were making use of glue .

5Fifth day instilled in them the concept of making use of waste materials into something creative and useful. Students brought T- shirts from home which cannot be used by them and the teachers helped them to make pot hangers out of it. This gave them the idea that waste material could be made use in various ways using their imagination.

7The common folk songs and action songs taught everyday is sung by them even after the camp at home. Parents have appreciated the changes that the camp has brought about and desired for such camps not only during summer but also during onam and christmas holidays.

8There were special games everyday which inevitably brought about changes in them. Games such as setting up rooms facilitated them to understand the different objects that have to be retained in each rooms. Talent hunt was another feature in the summer camp which brought forth different talents of the students. Musical games, exercises to the beat of drums, book balancing, identifying animal sounds augmented their knowledge as well as gross motor abilities.

The camp has provided the students an opportunity to develop positive behaviours and social skills along with fun and games. It has also prevented regression that usually occurs during the summer vacation. Summer camp has improved their confidence, self esteem, communication skills and friendship that could be continued further in their life. Summer camp was an eye opener to teachers as well. They were able to ascertain the different characteristics of each student which could come in handy during their sessions in future.