With growing concern over the low academic achievements of American youth, summer camping programs can be part of the solution while providing new, exciting experiences for their campers. Camp Courage, a residential camp in Minnesota for youth with disabilities, has developed technology-rich offerings for its campers in "Teen Camp."
The camp director put together a technical team lead by Sheryl Burgstahler, Director of DO-IT at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Burgstahler determined instructional goals and activities that allow flexibility for campers with differing skill sets. Program staff set up a computer lab that includes adaptive technology so that campers with a wide range of abilities and disabilities can participate. With the help of college professors, self-determination and college preparation educators, and computer specialists, campers gain general computer knowledge as well as skills to access the wealth of information and support that is available on the Internet. A focus of this special program is college/career preparation.
Camp Courage's college preview and computer/Internet program is a promising practice in integrating college/career preparation and computer activities into existing recreational camp offerings. Campers in this specialized program participate with other campers during meals and afternoon and evening recreational activities. Campers also develop web pages about their camping experiences, which include pictures of campers and descriptions of camp activities.
Camp Courage maintained a website which described the College and Internet Preview Camp Session.
For more information on how to make your camp computer lab accessible consult the Knowledge Base article How do we include accessible technology-rich activities in our summer camp?
For guidelines about designing an accessible computer lab, consult Equal Access: Universal Design of Computer Labs.