Camp for Disabled Kids In Allendale, Michigan

by Leyla Norman, Demand Media

    Only about 12 miles east of Allendale, Michigan, is Indian Trails Camp (indiantrailscamp.org), a 15-acre site with 25 buildings where disabled individuals of all ages go to have a good time for a few days in the summer. This camp is full of activities for disabled children to help them have a good time and an "enriched life experience through recreation, advocacy and meaningful relationships," according to the camp's mission statement.

    The Site

    Indian Trails fronts Root Beer Lake, and it has several hiking trails that wind around in the woods. Wildlife make their homes on camp lands, too. The camp has streams, hills and other beautiful natural landscapes, which make it a relaxing and secluded place for summer camp.

    Facilities and Prices

    The camp is barrier-free and provides adaptive activities for campers that they cannot do in the outside world. Prices vary, depending on the particular activity or camp your child will attend and the level of care required.

    Activities

    Some of the summer camp activities campers participate in at Indian Trails include archery, canoeing, swimming, music and drama, art and ropes challenge. Summer camps also sometimes include concerts, hiking, hay rides, talent shows, nature studies, carnivals, campouts and dances. The camp also provides three-day respites throughout the year with similar camp experiences.

    Counselors

    The counselors at Indian Trails are at least 18 years old and have finished one year of college. According to its website, Indian Trails prefers to hire counselors majoring in human services-related areas, such as social work, special education, psychology, medical study and therapy. Counselors are expected to be caring, responsible, passionate, mature and altruistic. Indian Trails looks for both experienced staff and those new to working with the disabled. Cabin counselors care for the daily needs of campers. Seven campers are assigned to two to three staff members. Activity specialists and the activity director design and run each day's activities. The arts and crafts director may have education and experience in occupational therapy, art education or art therapy. Pool staff are lifeguard certified and have current CPR certification. Some may have adaptive aquatics certification. Adventure staff members know both high and low ropes, and health staff are trained in nursing and safety.

    About the Author

    Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.