Committed to Inclusion: YMCA Sherman Lake Camp

The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center strengthens the spirit, mind, and body while instilling an appreciation of our natural environment. And they do this for everybody because they are committed to providing all children with an opportunity to have a great camp experience. For the past several years, The Arcadia Institute Community Participation Initiative staff has provided training for Sherman Lake counselors so that they can include children with disabilities. This year Lorrie Syverson, Director of Camping, Education & Retreat Services and Diahnn Austenfeld, Intern and University Relations Director and Integrated Education, decided to incorporate how to include children with disabilities throughout all of their week long counselor training, rather that emphasizing disability in a separate session. WOW that is demonstrating a commitment to inclusion.

Also, through the Community Participation Initiative, we had an Intern available to go out to camps if they needed coaching and assistance to support a camper with a disability who may experience extra challenges in a camp environment. This summer, although we provided financial assistance for several children to go to camp – Sherman Lake never needed our Intern. They intentionally hired some extra staff so that they could support all campers. WOW! Again, they are commitment to inclusion. If you want more information about the YMCA Sherman Lake Facilities visit http://www.shermanlakeymca.org/index.php