Since our founding year in 2008, we have received an outpouring of positive feedback from campers, parents, and volunteers. We take pride in providing quality care while empowering those served with the support and life skills needed long after camp has ended. The 92% re-application rate among campers is a great indicator that our programs are very meaningful for the individuals we serve.
Quotes from Campers
“I met all my cabin mates and they became my friends.”
“I felt that I was finally part of the group and that people like me for me.”
“Camp Encourage felt like family!”
“I felt like I was with the kind of people I should be with.”
“I realized that there are people out there just like me.”
When asking a peer model what he enjoyed most about Camp Encourage, he expressed, "meeting new kids that have ASD and finding out that they are a lot like me."
“ The food was great. I liked making new friends. The counselors were nice. I liked being called by my nickname. ”
“ [One of my favorite memories was] meeting everyone, being brave and riding a horse. ”
“ I was able to be me! ”
“ I went zip lining and I was really amazed that I climbed up that whole tree! ”
Quotes from Parents
“He felt loved and enjoyed making connections with other campers. He came home so happy and excited about camp!”
“She was learning how to reinforce positive thinking; she was HAPPY after camp. That’s huge for her.”
“Meeting new friends and feeling accepted by others. This camp stay makes him feel so happy and so relaxed that he can really be himself.”
“My daughter won’t be judged, singled out or made fun of because of her autism.”
"Words cannot begin to say THANK YOU so very much for allowing (my son) this awesome experience. I cannot tell my friends without crying."
"Your knowledge and compassion are priceless!"
"Just wanted you to know how impressed I am about this camp and it hasn't even started yet! I am just blown away by how well thought out every detail is! The camp definitely sets the bar a lot higher..."
"I was really impressed with the organization, attention to detail, the friendly counselors that took the time to call before camp and introduce themselves and then also took the time to greet us upon arrival, the ratio of counselor / camper, the menu and the scholarship opportunity. I don't think there's anything this camp doesn't do awesome!"
"I appreciate being able to send (my son) to a camp where people "get" him and I don't have to apologize to everyone for anything he said or did. Thank you for accepting him the way that he is and giving him an opportunity to become more! I am impressed by all the wonderful activities you offered but am even more grateful for the fact that you offered (my son) so many choices and so many chances to shed his old skin and grow into a bigger one. Thank you for teaming up with such wonderful volunteers! We all enjoyed the photo show and I saw the pride on (my son)'s face that he was in so many pictures and he looked like a cool kid. To him, Camp Encourage was just plain fun."
"Very wonderful! Very organized! I can tell a lot of work was put into preparing this camp!"
"The experience was absolutely phenomenal."
"(Our son) is still talking about what an amazing time he had at Camp Encourage. The teachers have noticed an even bigger change in him this year and we think letting him go to your camp was a huge milestone in his life. Thank you so much for everything you all did for him!"
"I thought the organization and attention to detail was incredible."
"What you do is a labor of love."
"I want to send along our personal thank you to everyone involved in Camp Encourage. When we adopted (our son) six years ago, we had the same kinds of hopes and dreams that all new parents have for their children. He would play baseball with a Little League team — he would have a bunch of friends and get invited to fun birthday parties — he and his friends would have slumber parties — he would hang out with his Dad and watch football on Sunday afternoons and talk about his favorite players. We have never enjoyed any of these pretty simple moments in childhood — instead we have a precious boy who spends hours reading or playing on his computer - a precious boy who has never been invited for a play-date or to a birthday party — a precious boy who doesn't understand sports - who is clumsy and who hates being in the sun and getting hot. We have a precious little boy who wants to have friends and doesn't understand why he eats alone every day during the lunch hour.
The few days he spent at Camp Encourage were the highlights of the past six years he has spent in America. He had friends to hang out with — he was part of the gang — he understood the other children and they understood him — he met kids with interests like his — he got to laugh with other kids about things he thinks are funny. He felt like a typical kid .... for a few days!
I caught myself crying during the slide show the last day of camp — I also caught my husband crying as he watched (our son) having so much fun — smiling ear to ear — and doing things that we have always wanted him to do with other children. It made our hearts burst seeing him having so much fun — you will never know how happy we were watching that slide show. For the first time, his younger brothers and sisters got to see him as the big brother — the one that got to go to the really cool camp last summer.
We thank everyone: the organizers, the supporters, the volunteers, the counselors, the peer models. You each made a huge difference in his life in just a few short days. He has photos from camp on his bulletin board in his room. He talks about his "friends from camp". He walks prouder, stands taller, and he smiles bigger from a few short days at Camp Encourage.
We are sincerely grateful to each of you!"