From early July to mid-August, students had the opportunity to spend a few weeks of their Extended School Year (ESY) programming at Eden-run camp program in Port Murray, New Jersey. This overnight program blends all of the fun of a summer camp with all of the benefits of Eden’s teaching model.
After having a couple of years off due to Covid restrictions, Eden at Crossroads was back in full swing this year! That meant we were able to enjoy all our traditional activities, such as weekly field trips, smaller trips out for ice cream and the park, special lunch trips, along with the full range of on-site activities, such as skits, Water Olympics, camp fires and karaoke.
Out of all the activities, spirit week was the most popular. “Spirit week is always fun because the counselors and the kids both really get into the activities and compete for the most points at the end of the week,” said Dr. Rachel Tait, Chief Program Officer. “You get so much involvement between the counselors and the kids when everyone is working together.”
Students and staff aren’t the only ones who enjoy Eden at Crossroads. Parents are able to take vacations or relax at home all while knowing their child is being cared for by Eden-trained staff. “For parents, it’s nice to be able to get a break and truly relax knowing their child is safe, with people they trust,” said Rachel.
Eden at Crossroads provides families with a lot more than summer fun. It’s a fantastic learning experience for students, who are immersed in Eden’s teaching environment 24/7. They are constantly learning and practicing life skills, along with daily IEP goals, within the structure of Eden’s teaching model, which enables them to go home at the end of the summer with a greater level of independence.
Out of all the moments of laughter and growth that Rachel witnessed this year at camp, her favorite moments always occur during pick up day. While the kids always enjoy camp, watching the campers get excited to see their parents for the first time in weeks is the most heartwarming moment of camp. “Seeing how much love there is between the families and the kids, to see that reunion, is always so special,” she said.