Therapy is an essential aspect of Victory Lane Camp’s summer experience for families with children who have special needs. VLC is thankful for the caring, quality therapists who participate in camp sessions. Speech pathologist Stephanie Winn first became involved in VLC during the summer of 2014.
“I started as a therapist for one of the summer camps and really loved what they were doing. Since then, I’ve done multiple camps and joined VLC’s Event Planning Pit Crew,” Stephanie explained.
One highlight for Stephanie has been her own family’s involvement at camp. Her favorite camp memories include watching her daughter, Zayla, play with Claire, a Victory Kid.
“The two girls would play tag and crack up laughing. I loved that interaction…. my own children learning how to interact with people who are different from them,” Stephanie shared. “I really liked to see that and the idea in general of children with and without disabilities playing together and developing relationships. It’s good to see that happening.”
Stephanie sees a unique perspective of camp through the eyes of a therapist. She has been a part of using the natural environment of camp to provide the benefits of therapy.
“I think kids can go to a therapy clinic and leave the room without taking much of it with them. I love that the therapy of camp is facilitating changes that need to happen or modifications so that the kids can fully engage in all of the activities at camp,” she explained. “That’s a really functional and fun form of therapy. I like that it’s not in a room. It’s outside and it’s happening as they’re interacting with others.”
One of Stephanie’s favorite examples of therapy in action took place this past summer when Collin, a Victory Kid, arrived at camp. As soon as his family pulled into camp, the TIMS (teens in mission) had action figures and a plan to play Power Rangers. Because they opened up the communication with something Collin enjoyed, he started engaging with them right away.
“It continued to be that way the whole time we were there,” she said. “Getting to see that and how it helped Collin socially and with his confidence to be a part of the group and the conversations was cool.”
Stephanie plans to stay involved with Victory Lane Camp by working as a therapist at camp and serving on the Event Planning Pit Crew.
“I like going to the events with my family and being a part of VLC with them throughout the year,” Stephanie expressed. “There really isn’t anything else like this camp!”