Attending Zajac Ranch as a young adult has been James’ first experience at camp. “He was not ready for camp in his youth,” says his mother, Sylvie. “James is a very big-hearted, social, and gentle guy. However, he generally faces many challenges when it comes to communication, dietary and digestive issues, sensory regulations, and social behaviour. James lives with profound autism, and everyday life can be a challenge for him.”
“We had never considered that James could spend an extended time away before," continues Sylvie, "until we found out about Zajac Ranch and its Young Adults Camps.” James, who lives in Kelowna, BC, has been to camp three times now, and always looks forward to it. “He loves to look at his Zajac Ranch pictures and knows and loves all the activities.” Especially beneficial is that James is able to be accompanied by his Person Support Worker (PSW), Rob, who knows James and his communication styles really well. Family appointed PSWs are invited to attend Zajac Ranch with campers at no cost.
Rob says, “Normally at home, when things are different it is a challenge for him. He uses an iPad to keep a very strict schedule.” Life at camp can be very fluid, with activities dependent on weather and other variables. The thrill of adventure and trying new things seems to outweigh James’ need for strict scheduling. Rob continues, “At Zajac Ranch, he has no set schedule, and he actually manages quite well. Back at home, that wouldn’t go so well.”
“Zajac Ranch has created an ideal environment for James to make new friends and make wonderful memories,” says Sylvie. “With Rob and the friendly and very inclusive camp staff, James has been able to develop his social and everyday skills.” Sylvie adds, “Zajac Ranch is an amazing and wonderful opportunity for youth and young adults with diverse abilities to experience camp and everyday life in a beautiful place, with understanding and caring staff and a well-supported environment, full of fun activities and exciting adventures.”
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