The Ben James Summer Camp is an area camp that provides children with ASD the chance to experience swimming, basketball, bowling and several other indoor and outdoor activities in a safe, nurturing environment.
As most of the children in attendance fall in the moderate to severe area of the spectrum and are generally pre-verbal, the camper/councillor ratio is1:1 and programming is highly specialized.
Currently there are 20 families on the waiting list and parents of children who attend are hoping that the camp’s services will expand.
Kerry Houghton, whose son Lex attends the camp, states in the CBS Canada News article:
“We need this times ten. We need it at March break. We need it at Christmas time. We need it.”
The staff admits that the camp is relying solely on donations and it has to change sites yearly in order to run it in the cheapest facilities available, hence more funding will be needed before they can expand services.
The city has indicated it may integrate the camp into ones that are operated through the municipal government.