Growth. Recognition. Achievement. Character. Encouragement.
Several years ago, Lauren Askew created Camp G.R.A.C.E. for a class project at Meredith College. Lauren had worked as a camp counselor for A.E. Finley YMCA and was impressed with their expertise with children’s summer camps. While attending Meredith, Lauren worked with children with special needs at A Small Miracle, Inc. For her project, she decided to merge the two experiences into one, designing a day camp especially for children ages 8 to 13 with autism and related communication disorders. She took into account the safety, sensory, communication, and other special needs of this population and incorporated solutions for each of these challenges. Lauren then convinced the senior leadership at the YMCA and A Small Miracle, Inc. to make this camp a reality. Camp G.R.A.C.E. opened its doors in the summer of 2004 and was so successful that the partnership has continued years after Lauren moved out of state and had to leave her beloved camp.
In 2008, A Small Miracle, Inc. and Kraft Family YMCA partnered in order to bring Camp G.R.A.C.E. to the Apex area. In doing so, we have seen many new children able to participate in camp.
Camp G.R.A.C.E. is run on the principle that is a typical day camp, but with concessions made based on the needs of the individuals who are attending. We may adjust games to give more clear boundaries, or to have fewer rules so that the children attending camp will be able to enjoy the games more. Fun and safety are the major components of Camp G.R.A.C.E.
Camp G.R.A.C.E. has two different types of sessions: our Building Blocks sessions are designed to assist children that need more one-on-one attention and more assistance with complex directions, while our Social Skills sessions are designed to assist children that are able to handle more complex directions and work independently in a large group, but still need assistance in understanding social rules. These sessions last for 2 weeks and alternate through the summer.
For more information on Camp G.R.A.C.E. please contact:
A.E. FINLEY YMCA
9216 Baileywick Road, Raleigh, NC 27615