Summer Camp Participant Trey smiles with SOAR staff

School is out and the sun is shining, which means our SOAR Summer Camp is already making a big splash! SOAR (Social Opportunities and Recreation) Summer Camp is a nine-week program that provides a full day of summer activities and field trips in a supportive environment. Trey is one of the campers who is excited to connect with friends this summer. “I look forward to going to fun places but mostly swimming! I look forward to having a fun time with my paras! They are nice and funny and kind and more!” Trey says.

Trey first joined SOAR Camps in 2021, the summer before he turned 12. His mom, Rhonda, shares how the camp quickly became a great fit for him. “From the first year he went, I knew SOAR Camp was a perfect fit for Trey! Having Megan there certainly relieved some anxieties for Trey at first, but honestly, every staff member was so welcoming and kind he quickly fell in love with going there! He still gets so excited when a new camp session rolls around! He is not only doing fun activities, but also being social and learning communication skills. It’s so great!” she shares.

Megan, Trey’s sister, works at SOAR and has been with Community Living for nearly eight years. She has a special bond with Trey and is proud to support him and other participants. “Trey is a true homebody, but when he is at camp, he flourishes into such a social butterfly! Our direct support staff in SOAR push Trey just enough to encourage him to get outside of his comfort zone and try new things,” Megan explains.

“Trey is a true homebody, but when he is at camp,

he flourishes into such a social butterfly!”

Megan’s involvement with Community Living goes beyond just being Trey’s sister. She has grown from a direct support staff member to a manager of the SOAR Program. “Building connections with not only the participants but their families too is my favorite part about working at SOAR. I still stay in contact with some of the participants and their families that I supported as a DSP, eight years ago. Their children have made such an impact on my life,” Megan says.

For Rhonda, SOAR Camp means so much more than just a place for Trey to have fun. “It means the world to me that Trey is part of an organization that provides him with a place to have fun and be social with others. It also means the world to me that as he gets older there will be other opportunities within Community Living that may help him into adulthood. For me, that gives me so much hope!” she expresses.

The positive impact of SOAR Camp on Trey is evident. He loves the activities, especially swimming at the Blanchette Park pool and going to places like Rockin’ Jump and bowling. More importantly, the camp helps him build social and communication skills. “SOAR has made a great impact! The camps give him the push he needs to help him socially,” Rhonda notes.