In addition to serving as CFO at the Sertoma Center, our multi-talented board treasurer, Michael Collins, also has a way with words. Michael writes a bi-weekly column for the Mountain Press in Sevier County and keeps a blog where he tells tales of parenting, autism and life in general. Recently, Michael published a column in the Mountain Press sharing his experience during a site visit to Camp Koinonia to scope it out as a possibility for his son on the spectrum.
If you are not familiar, Camp Koinonia is an outdoor education program for children with disabilities aged 7-21, with a mission to provide a caring community for their campers in a sense of true fellowship. They serve children with multiple types of disabilities through three weekend camps and one weeklong camp. All of their camps boast a one-to-one camper counselor ratio with a full set of activity staff, ensuring that your child has the support, care and attention they need.
Like so many parents of children with autism, Michael understands first hand how scary it is to consider sending your child, who often is unable to communicate clearly if at all, into the care of someone you don't know for a multi-night stay. In his article, Michael describes it as "a dark personal fear of having my vulnerable son that far away from home for a full week."
His visit to Camp Koinonia, however, put his fears to rest.
"Everywhere my eyes fell left me with an impression.
The 29 five-star reviews Camp Koinonia has on Facebook infers that Michael's experience was not unique, but that, true to its mission, this camp is providing experiences that will last a lifetime for children with disabilities. As we are sure you will, we encourage you to do your own research when seeking out programs and camps for your children to ensure it will meet the unique needs of your child.