As an occupational therapist with 321Go Kids Rehab, Dusti Dobbs loves spending time connecting with her patients and providing innovative therapies. Only seeing kids during appointments has its limitations, however, and there are only so many variations in activities she can provide in a traditional therapy setting.
Serving as a therapist at Victory Lane Camp provides Dusti with the opportunity to use creativity while practicing therapy during camp sessions. Over the past three years, Dusti has assisted at camp sessions in a variety of roles, and her heart is to build a foundation for Victory Kids to learn and grow.
“It’s every therapist’s dream to be able to integrate therapy strategies outside the walls of a clinic. In the camp setting, we are hands-on in a community and in a fun setting,” Dusti noted. “We’re able to show families ways to make therapy work into their daily life schedule. We aim to adapt activities to make life work in a therapeutic way.”
In her first year at camp, Dusti reconnected with a high school friend who is the caregiver for her nephew. Throughout camp, their friendship blossomed and they built a relationship of trust. Dusti became a respite caretaker and continued her involvement in the family’s life.
“We watch each other’s children,” she shared. “I have assisted in helping her with therapy strategies for her nephew and just being a constant in their lives serving and receiving special gifts that both of them bring to our lives.”
Dusti expanded her therapy role in camp the following year and helped train the therapists as coaches for the families and the VLC community. She taught therapists how to integrate therapy strategies within the real world of camp. During this camp, she met and became involved with the Miller family and developed a bond with Luke Miller.
I was able to introduce them to the therapeutic listening program. Luke became a favorite of my daughter’s, and finding ways to interact with Luke and make him smile was a huge part of her week,” she explained.
During the most recent camp session, Dusti had the opportunity to serve as a family crew chief. While she found this challenging, she used therapy strategies to break down the walls of a Victory Kid and make a lasting connection with him and his family. They now connect outside of the clinic and spend time together at places like Sky Zone. The Victory Kid continues coming to 321Go Kids Rehab for services, and Dusti has an ongoing friendship with his mom.
Dusti sums up her experiences in stating, “small connections and special moments happen all throughout the week. It’s truly about finding ways to connect with these kids and families in order to enrich their lives in simple ways.”
Do you know a therapist who would be interested in an opportunity to serve at camp? This year’s camp sessions are only five days long and include a weekend. Please contact Tiffanny at 765-591-4191 for more information.