At Akeela, we work on social skills while campers are enjoying a traditional camp program. Because we know that every camper is different, we choose not to follow one specific social skills curriculum or therapeutic approach. Instead, we work with families to understand exactly what will make each camper feel socially successful.
Social Skills Camp
We pride ourselves on being a camp that has a deep impact on kids’ lives, changing the way they feel about themselves and how they interact with others. Parents tell us at the end of the camp session that they can’t believe how much their children have changed. They are consistently moved by the enthusiasm with which their son or daughter proudly introduces them to new friends and counselors. Without question, Akeela is a therapeutic experience for our campers. Yet, it’s equally important to us that it doesn’t feel like a therapeutic environment. To be a camper at Akeela means to have a magical camp experience that matches the best “typical” camps in New England and Wisconsin. Camp is about having fun, making friends, trying new things, building character and being a part of something bigger than ourselves. At Akeela, it does not include an academic component, nor any explicit social skills lessons. Instead, living in a 24/7 camp community provides countless real-world opportunities for social challenges and successes. Staff members who truly know and love our campers help coach them through these moments, to reflect on them, and to practice new strategies for greater confidence and competence.
“I Can Be Myself Here”
Akeela campers tell us that camp is the place where they can truly be themselves. Most are in mainstreamed academic settings, where they have to work very hard to fit in socially. Camp Akeela provides an opportunity to live in a community filled with people who appreciate them for who they are. Enjoying a peer group and a program designed specifically for them allows them to be more open to feedback from staff and friends, which in turn leads to profound growth and connection.