July 12, 2012. Wayne and Gina Stewart, Christian Country Gospel Nashville Recording Artists, will perform at the KAMPN Koncert Saturday, July 14 at 6 p.m. at Faith Fellowship on Main St. in Jefferson and Sunday, July 15 at 3:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeths on Pilgrims Way in Boone. All proceeds will go to building a KAMPN Kabin. KAMPN (Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature) provides camping opportunities in Deep Gap for children with autism and their families.
KAMPN, fills a gap for parents who have a difficult time finding a program for their child functioning below the mild level on the Autism Spectrum. In addition to serving these deserving families in a unique natural environment, it will provide them the means to participate without some of the costs involved in the few camps available for this specific population.
“This concept has real potential,” Sue Taylor said. “We’re thinking it’s going to be a valuable resource for the field of autism.”
KAMPN’s mission is to provide an option rarely available for families that have children with autism to experience activities in nature together. KAMPN will not only provide a program for the child and families together, but will also give parents an opportunity to leave their child with trained staff at the site and venture off on their own during the weeklong overnight summer camp.
KAMPN will conduct a uniquely designed overnight summer camp program for children with autism and their families. It is located in Deep Gap, known as the “Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains” in the High Country.
KAMPN will provide a very unique opportunity for parents to interact, giving them time together to discuss the challenges and rewards they are faced with on a daily basis.
“It’s kind of like a support system for when they leave the camp,” Taylor said.
In addition, it will provide time for them to enjoy a variety of activities available in the High Country while trained service providers will be working with their child at camp.
KAMPN’s LIFE (Life in Family Experience) will enable participating university students to “live-in” with the family. The living units are designed to enable these students to experience and better understand the challenges and rewards of the daily activities of the family. This will provide an important training opportunity for them.
KAMPN realizes the high costs involved in raising a child with autism. In order to reduce these extraordinary expenses, funds will be sought to supplant the cost needed to operate this camp.
KAMPN will provide a model that can be replicated in other areas of the state and country. This will be accomplished through dissemination of all documents and materials that would help in the establishment of this model program.
Comments from some of the KAMPN Letters of Support
“I have fond memories of Dr. Taylor as the Director of East Carolina University’s REAP, special developmental preschool where my son attended. Dr. Taylor was a critical part in my son’s development, often in the classroom providing support for the teachers, getting to know the children and, of course, always offering a smile or word of encouragement to the parents. Your plans for KAMPN are so exciting because they incorporate the family needs as well as a wonderful opportunity to train future professionals in the field. As a parent of a now 19-year-old I can express the challenges that occur for families to find vacation opportunities that include their child with autism. Your vision of a family atmosphere with support from both trained professionals and trainees is ingenious!
– Jill Scercy, MS, LMFT, Clinical Asst. Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry – UNC Chapel Hill, Asst. Director – TEACCH Greenville
“I believe the concept is one which has real potential to become a valuable resource in the field of autism, but perhaps more importantly, a living, learning environment for the family unit with autistic children. I know that such a resource does not currently exist in this region and also know firsthand the lack of resources for families with children with special needs. KAMPN would seem to offer many opportunities for our students to gain valuable insights and experiences with autistic children. The uniqueness of your program – its focus on the family unit, not just the individual child – is one which we would like to see replicated many times over.”
– Dr. Charles Duke, Dean, Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University
“The presence of KAMPN in our area would be a wonderful opportunity for our students to have hands on experience with students with autism and their families. KAMPN will provide our students the opportunity to work with the children with autism, learn more of their educational and social needs, and allow them to see this population outside of the school environment. I look forward to working with you in the future development.”
– Dr. Monika Lambert, Chair, Department of Reading Education and Special Education, Appalachian State University
“The High Country has needed a camp with a focus on persons with disabilities for some time, especially the largely underserved population of persons with autism. I am very pleased that you are pursuing this much needed endeavor, and I will support your organization to the maximum extent possible.”
– Dr. Paul L. Gaskill, Professor and Chair, Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University
“Please consider the Institute of Health Sciences a partner in the KAMPN mission. We look forward to growing with you and celebrating a dream of allowing children with autism to experience activities in nature and new environments with their families.”
– Mary Sheryl Horine, MPH, Interim Director, Appalachian State University, College of Health Sciences, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Institute of Health and Human Sciences
“KAMPN is a wonderful idea for both families having children with autism spectrum disorders and university students.”
– John Dougherty, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology within Psychiatry – UNC Chapel Hill, Clinical Director, TEACCH Greenville
Interested in contributing to KAMPN? Contact camp founders Jim and Sue Taylor by mail at 1255 Wildcat Ridge, Deep Gap, N.C. 28618, by phone at 828-264-0054 or by email at ([email protected]).