After making the difficult decision to cancel camp in the summer of 2020, YAI's Mainstreaming at Camp (MAC) program, in collaboration with YMCA's Frost Valley Camp, was able to reopen its (cabin) doors this summer. In staggered shifts throughout the summer and with COVID protocols in place, the program welcomed 80 campers in total.
MAC is open to children ages 8-18, and two-week sessions include ziplining, tie-dye, candle-making, campfires, and learning about pond ecology, among other activities.
"The thing that people love the most about being in camp is being in the community and being with their friends," said Tim Allen, Supervisor. "They see their friends and counselors every year and every summer. It was really exciting to see kids grow up and see each other after two years."
This year, all of Frost Valley, MAC included, limited the number of campers in each cabin. However, it remained a priority to ensure that campers with I/DD interacted with their neurotypical peers. There were different schedules are rotations, but there were activities for campers of all abilities throughout the day. And despite the challenges of running a sleepaway camp in the era of COVID, everyone had a safe and healthy camp experience.