Memorial Hospital and Manor’s Rehab Department provides an amazing, fun-filled Summer Day Camp, appropriately called “Camp Joy,” for extraordinary children with physical and developmental disabilities. Th camp serves the needs of disabled children, ages 5 to 17, from all economic and ethnic backgrounds as a continuation of the therapy offered during the school year. The therapy received during camp is a continuation of the therapy provided during the school year by the MHM staff. “Camp JOY” was created when the MHM therapists noticed that the school aged children with special needs seemed to decline considerably in regards to their function during the summer break, often losing much of the progress they had made during the school year. The staff recognized the need for a program that would provide motivation for the children to continue therapy during the summer months, thus the focus on fun-filled activities that were also therapeutic in nature. As in most rural areas, many Decatur County children have limited access to summer care, especially children with disabilities. Like any child, disabled children just want to enjoy their summer vacation and Camp JOY helps them do just that.
During the camp, the Rehab staff provides physical and occupational therapy to children with various diagnoses, including cerebral palsy, autism, spinal muscular atrophy, sensory integration dysfunction, and developmental delay. The therapists determine specific goals for each child, aimed at improving fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance/core stabilization, coordination and muscle strengthening/flexibility. Camp JOY engages children and their families in therapeutic horseback riding, swimming, bowling, arts and crafts, and fishing, while providing the necessary therapy. The camp experience ends with an awards ceremony for the campers, parents and staff.
For more information about Camp JOY, please contact the Rehab Department at (229) 243-8124.