Autism Camp: Dragonfly Forest Camp

In a recent study conducted over three camp seasons by local Philadelphia- based non-profit, Dragonfly Forest, show that camp activities for children with serious illnesses can lead to learning and growth. Parents in the PA, NJ, DE areas are turning to Dragonfly Forest, an organization that offers free camp programs for children living with serious illnesses and disorders, and other camps across the country as a much needed respite.

The Dragonfly Forest summer camp helps each child feel like a regular kid and tends to have a lasting impact on their sense of self both during and after the session.

Statistics from the report demonstrate that:

  • 91.2% of campers realized they had many talents while at camp
  • 95.6% of campers reported feeling confident in themselves
  • 68.4% of campers felt their illness did not stop them from doing things they wanted to do
  • 96.1% of campers felt good about trying new things

In 2008, Dragonfly Forest held an autism pilot program and since it was an extraordinary success, the organization will be offering the session again this year and have doubled the number of children attending.

Dragonfly Forest also offers two additional sessions: Hematology: Bleeding Disorders Sickle Cell and Session 3: American Lung Association of PA's Persistent Asthma.

Below is a quote from a Mother, whose twin autistic sons attended the pilot session last year.

"Again, I wish there were actual words to describe how I feel when the boys talk about Dragonfly Forest, and how they still talk about it, Ben doesn't have the best communication at times, but when he talked about it, and when he still talks about it, he says he is going to Dragon Fly forest, his place to soar. I guess I never thought they could have independence without me, and I guess that is the way it’s supposed to be with all kids, you know? To wanting to get their own breakfast, to getting snacks on their own when they are hungry to just this inherent entitlement that they can do some things without me. I guess it is something you can't shelf away after camp is over. I don't think it was just a coincidence that they went to camp and then suddenly developed these skills. Do you guys really know what happens to kids who go there? It is transforming!"

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