Earlier this year, one of my fellow colleagues wrote a blog post about The Joy of Inclusive Camping! You should definitely go and read it if you haven’t read it already. What I’d like to focus on in this post is the benefits of inclusive camps for children without disabilities.
One of the many reasons why I love inclusive camps is the fact that there are benefits for everyone involved – whether it’s the staff organizing the activities or the children participating in those activities. It takes a lot of creativity, effort and commitment – inclusion is by no means an easy task! However, if properly executed, inclusion can lead to a beautifully, whole and diverse community.
Understanding One Another
We are all individuals – our strengths, weaknesses and varying personality traits is what makes us unique. Inclusive camps create opportunities for children without disabilities to understand and accept those who are different. They learn to understand that everyone should be valued for their unique abilities and included as essential members of a community.
Children without disabilities are given opportunities to be leaders! They are great natural facilitators for peer modeling and they also learn how to cooperate, be tolerant and accepting of those who are different. They learn the value of working with all kinds of children to fulfill a task while having fun.
Authentic Sense of Belonging
Children without disabilities learn to look beyond the typical ways people can become valued members of a community. We are all unique in our own sense and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Teaching children without disabilities to look beyond the norm creates an authentic sense of belonging and acceptance. Finally, inclusion camps provide children without disabilities increased friendship opportunities!
I wholeheartedly believe that inclusion camps are great because they allow children to value and see the strengths of other children – whether those children have or do not have disabilities. Inclusion camps are great places to teach diversity and understanding in a fun but structured environment! 😀