Special Needs Integration
The Pathways Program
Camp Couchiching, or “Cooch” as our campers call it, is the proud founder of Pathways, a program designed to fully integrate children with special needs through assistance and guidance of one-on-one and team support.
Pathways is divided into three specialized programs: one-on-one, mentorship, and work placement. Each program aims to provide excellence in camping through a completely inclusive atmosphere that caters to all needs, supporting children with a warm and accepting community.
Camp Couchiching’s inclusive community allows campers to gain confidence and independence that can be applied to all facets of life. Pathways is fully invested in integration and instilling a sense of belonging for all children at camp.
One-on-one support is a program that provides campers ages 7-18 with the extra attention needed to safely participate in all camp activities by having a support worker present. The amount of support varies per camper, adjusting the degree of assistance needed for successful integration. The objective of this program is to move towards social independence and personal growth. There is an additional fee for this support. If you are applying for campership, this one-on-one support is also eligible.
The mentorship program uses a hands-off approach to supervising and coaching the development of campers and work placements with special needs in a supportive and encouraging manner. A counsellor will oversee the progress of a camper or a work placement; however, they will not be present at all times. This program encourages campers and work placements to put their efforts towards self-integration, independently discovering new friendships and participating in fun activities.
With a constant emphasis on community, Camp Couchiching is an exceptional place for youth to be supported with their social development. Our social integration program assists campers whom may struggle at home with developing peer connections and friendships by providing passive support for them while at camp. These staff focus much of their attention on the less structured periods throughout the day, and seek to provide passive assistance in creating friendship bonds throughout their time at Cooch.
Work placement is a great volunteer opportunity for young adults, 18-25 years of age. Work placements will be expected to positively contribute to camp by lending their help and services to a variety of different activities. Following a structured schedule, work placements will hold similar responsibilities to counsellors while also enjoying the fun and exciting aspects of camp. A work placement can be partnered with a one-on-one counsellor depending on an individual’s special needs. This learning opportunity helps to develop a variety of life skills. It is our hope that everyone enrolled in this program will go home with a positive work experience, having thrived in a safe and inclusive environment. There is an additional fee for this support. If you are applying for campership, this one-on-one support is also eligible.