Elena Cassella, Executive Director of Dream Oaks Camp, a program of Foundation for Dreams spoke to members of the Anna Maria Island Kiwanis.
Dream Oaks Camp was a living dream of its founder, Eddie Mulock. In 1995 he set forth to build a camp designed to meet the needs of children with physical and developmental challenges.
Partnering with Southwest Florida Boy Scouts, the Foundation built Dream Oaks Camp in 2000. In 2001, the first summer campers, 56 in total, were welcomed to the camp. Today services are provided to more than 700 campers per year; with a 3:1 camper to counselor ratio or better.
Elena explained the strongest asset to the Camp is its staff members. They are truly inspiring because of the level of energy and enthusiasm they each bring by seeking new ideas to a program or by adjusting an activity to include all the children.
Each child is assessed & a unique program is designed to focus on that child’s abilities to strengthen his or her social skills & behavioral skills. Regardless of physical, medical or emotional challenges, each session includes the participation of all the children; as each staff member is dedicated to planning & modifying strategies to accomplish that.
Parents and staff collaborate to identify two targeted goals for the child to progress towards during their stay at the camp. The low camper to staff ratios of 3:1 or better, allows each child to receive a very high level of individualized care & support. The main ingredient is having fun while learning new skills and developing productive behaviors.
The facility offers Summer Camp June-August, Weekend Camp August-May and Day Camp year-round. To find out more about this amazing camp go to their website at www.foundationfordreams.org.
During May 2022, the Club will continue to meet every Saturday. Starting in June, the Club will meet monthly.
2022 Summer Schedule of Meetings: June 25, July 30, August 27
The Club will resume meetings every week starting September 10, 2022