Summer camps

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Frambu Center organizes camps to provide holiday experience, learning opportunities, and activities in a safe environment, with the purpose that these gained experiences to be used in leisure time and everyday life to overcome the challenges they face.

For participants the main objective is often to know other people in the same situation as themselves, to share experiences and socialize. Each camp has 2 camp leaders, 2 leaders of activity, 5 group leaders, about 45 untrained assistants, a medical student and nurse.

Frambu’s staff stays in the background of camp life as much as possible, offering advice and counseling to the camp staff.

405 applicants for the job as camp assistant: 30% new applicants and 70% with camp experience. Mostly, young students. 380 applications for participating in total, relatively evenly distributed throughout the four camps. One of Frambu’s staff is responsible for the process of employing staff.

Perspectives for participants: learn to cope with different situations, acquiring independent life skills and overcome obstacles, take part in fun activities, possibility of integration, homesick, memories for life.

Participants are children, youths, and young adults with rare disorders, without parents, local caregivers, or assistants. 75% of these having Frambu as their competence service centre. The rest are from other Norwegian competence services. During summer are organized 4 camps, 50 participants (12 - 16 years,16 - 30 years, 14 - 20 years), 30 participants (18 years and up).

Through many years of organizing summer camps, Frambu has developed a certain ʺcamp cultureʺ, which is passed on from one year to another.

We try to preserve this camp culture by finding the appropriate balance of experienced and new camp workers and participants. This experience assists greatly in assimilation to camp life and culture.

As far as possible, the camps are left in the hands of the responsible, devoted young workers – youth working with youth.

Starting from this model, through the "NoRo Frambu - Partnership for Future" project we propose to organize summer camps for children from the NoRo Day Care Center and youth from "Independent Living Skills" programme.

To increase socialization among children and young people with disabilities caused by rare diseases and autism spectrum disorder during the period 27 July – 14 August 2015 we organized 3 camps. The first NoRo camp was held during 27 - 31 of July 2015, the second camp was held in 3 - 7 of August 2015 and the last camp took place in 10 - 14 of august 2015. Location Pension "Piece of heaven". In the three camps, we had 152 people (an average of 50 people per group): 45 beneficiaries and 107 attendants (family members, personal assistants), volunteers and the NoRo team. Volunteers during activities offered help and support to children or young people who faced difficulties in completing tasks. Meanwhile parents attended the activities and only where it was the case they intervened occasionally.

During the 5 days, we conducted various fun and enthusiastic activities for kids. This camp was an opportunity for parents to interact among themselves, to know each other better, to make friends, share experiences and find solutions to the difficulties they face in everyday life. Such experience has enabled parents to relax and enjoy a moment of respite. This respite was facilitated not only by the conditions in the camp but also by the help of volunteers. Volunteers have an important role in this camp, primarily because during activities each worked one on one with the child, which they received at the beginning of camp. The role of "shadow" of volunteers facilitated stimulation and management of activities. Children and young people involved in activities benefited from a different kind of therapy in order to acquire social skills, to develop language, to acquire skills of personal autonomy. Outdoor activities in a new environment helped children in the process of adapting to new situations.

Darko Hortensia Emese, special education teacher RPWA