Building a Community of Belonging – The Next Generation

Summer is a wonderful time of the year for The Arcadia Institute! With our work, we are able to be outside at camps and summer programs! We kick the summer off early and provide training for staff and counselors throughout our community. Then, we stay in contact with program staff and counselors offering support and coaching. Last year, we were able to train and coach 221 summer staff and counselors to help them support children and youth with disabilities. While the number is impressive, what means the most to us is how these interactions expand our Community Participation Initiative in a unique way.

Camp Counselors are young people. Through our training activities, and their experiences at camp, they learn how to provide a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for all children.

Now,when these young people go into the world as adults

  1. they know the possibilities for individuals with disabilities,
  2. they understand how to support their peers with disabilities in the community, and
  3. they recognize that everyone benefits when people with disabilities are included in all aspects of community life.

Including people with disabilities will be natural to these young people. They will not see the barriers, and they will be more creative when working with people.

We are creating a new generation of people who will be part of Building a Community of Belonging.