“Yachad” means “together” in Hebrew!
Yachad is our inclusion program that allows campers with varying needs the opportunity to fully enjoy the Camp J experience. Campers who need extra assistance will work with advocates to personalize the camp experience to meet the individual needs of the camper.
Who is this program for?
- Generally, any child with an Individualized Education Plan, 504 Plan, Functional Behavior Assessment, Behavior Intervention Plan, or Student Accommodation Plan could be considered to be part of the program.
- Campers who might be a good fit include those who:
- Are partially or fully mainstreamed in school and need social or sensory support
- Are in self-contained classrooms, and who might have limited verbal skills or use a communication device, but do not have behavior challenges or personal care needs
- Enjoy being in groups (~15 campers) of new friends for much of the day, but who may need some breaks from the group as well
- Do well with multiple transitions each day and some level of unpredictability
- Have physical disabilities who need a wheelchair-accessible building and pool with ramp or beach entry
- Campers must be able to eat and toilet independently. Staff can assist with opening food items/packages and can prompt with toileting procedures but cannot feed or wipe campers.
Campers who would not be successful in this program include those who:
- Would benefit from a therapeutic camp rather than an inclusion model
- Are not able to or do not want to be in the group and participate in camp activities for much of the day
- Cannot fulfill our Behavior Agreement, including those who self-injure, have aggressive behaviors with adults or peers, who run away in an unsafe way, or whose impulse control challenges prevent them from being safe or keeping others safe in a community center setting
- Cannot eat or toilet independently
- We prioritize the safety of all our campers. If a camper harms themselves or others or cannot participate in our program safely even with extra support from our staff, Camp J will likely not be the right program for them.
- We will work with each camper and family to be as proactive as possible through support strategies, program accommodations, positive behavior management strategies, and redirection. Behavior challenges will be documented and shared with the family. If your child exhibits aggressive behavior that is harmful to staff, other campers, or themselves, your child may need to be picked up immediately, asked to stay home until a new plan can be put in place, or asked to leave the program. We will work with a child as much as possible to ensure a successful experience, though not at the expense of other staff and campers’ safety.
- If you or the camp staff feel that Camp J cannot adequately support your child or your child is not able to participate safely, we will meet with you to discuss the situation, and we will refund your tuition prorated for any days attended.
- Campers in the inclusion program are subject to the same Behavior Agreement as all campers at Camp J.
- Please note: if you are relying on camp for childcare, and you have concerns that your child may not be able to meet our Behavior Agreement, we recommend you consider having a backup plan in place.
- Our inclusion counselors are usually college or high school students with experience, but campers may bring their own support person as well. Our inclusion counselors work with children in ratios of 1:3, 1:2, and sometimes 1:1. Inclusion counselors are there to support campers as they participate in Camp J programming. Campers are thus expected to remain in regular camp activities for most of the day.
- Campers may bring their own support person, provided that person passes a criminal background check and reads and signs our Code of Conduct. Campers who might be successful if they are bringing their own support person include those who:
- Need help with personal care (eating, toileting, dressing)
- Need to be away from the group for significant amounts of time throughout the day
- Struggle greatly with transitions and unpredictability
- Visual and sensory aids such as picture schedules, visual timers, fidgets, noise-cancelling headphones, weighted (and non-weighted) stuffed animals, theraputty, etc.
- Sensory room and/or quiet outdoor spaces – for brief breaks as needed throughout the day
- Information ahead of time – schedules, touring the building, meeting the staff, social stories related to camp, etc.
- Behavior management plans and reward/sticker charts
- Staff support with instructions, rules, social interactions, etc.
- Help with transitions with the option to transition before the group
- Arranging time and space for outside OT/PT/speech providers or other professionals to work with campers during the day (must be provided by camper)
- Communicating with teachers or therapy providers before summer to get information and at end of summer to help with school year planning, including requesting copies of any IEPs, 504s, SAPs, etc.
- We offer individual visits for our inclusion families where you can meet staff, tour the building, and receive social stories for various aspects of camp
- After registering for camp, you will receive an email to an application. Application must be submitted by February 28, 2023. Spots are not first-come, first-served. We do our best to accommodate as many campers as we can given our limited resources.
- If your child has an IEP, 504, FBA, BIP, or SAP and you do not submit the inclusion application, we are not able to plan additional supports for your camper and expect that your camper can participate independently. If you register in camp and, once camp starts, your camper is unable to participate independently, we reserve the right to cancel your registration. If you are unsure if your camper would need to be part of the inclusion program, please fill out an Inclusion Application.
The video below is from 2016, but our mission is the same as ever- to make sure that children have the opportunity to enjoy their summer camp experience to the fullest!
*Please note that we very rarely offer one-on-ones now as we have found that our campers are better able to enjoy their experience without that dynamic. We still will place an advocate in the group but your camper will not know that staff member as “their” advocate or shadow.