A Day at Camp

Come Join Us at Camp for Fun & Friendship!

Every activity at Talisman’s camp for ADHD and autism spectrum kids is designed for fun, as well as hands-on learning. In the morning, campers complete their personal hygiene routine and chores with the help of a morning checklist. They emerge from their newly renovated cabins at 8:15 a.m. for morning group, where they set goals and discuss the schedule for the day. By pre-processing what to expect, our campers feel less anxious and are prepared for success.

After a healthful breakfast that is prepared with our campers’ unique nutritional needs in mind, the ADHD and autism spectrum kids embark on a full day of activities and learning. We offer two distinct types of camp experiences – campus-based and adventure-based – each with its own focus and schedule as described below.

Whether campers spend the day on-campus or off-campus, everyone enjoys dinner and a group meeting, where they can address any issues that came up during the day. The day is not over yet, because after dinner there is still time for another exciting activity before evening group and bedtime routine.

During evening group, campers are encouraged to talk about how successful they were at completing their daily goal, and they are also given the opportunity to encourage themselves and others by sharing daily PPLs. PPLs are every group member’s opportunity to share with the group something they are Proud of from the day, something they are Positive about from the day and also something new that they Learned that day. This provides the campers with necessary reflection on all of the great events that they participated in each day.

As the day winds down, campers go through a structured nighttime routine and get a good night’s sleep so that they wake refreshed for another day of camp fun.

Campus-Based Camps

In the morning and afternoon, ADHD & autism spectrum kids at our summer camp participate in traditional summer camp activities with a twist. For example, “science” might take the form of learning how to make ice cream from scratch.

Theme events, such as carnival day and dances, are another camp favorite. After all, it’s not every day that kids get to submerge their staff in a dunk tank or show off their killer dance moves in a dance battle with their friends.

Before and after every activity, the staff leads a processing group so that in addition to having tons of fun, campers can practice self-regulation, express themselves in positive ways and develop independent living, conflict resolution and social skills. All camp activities are highly structured and supervised by staff that has, on average, three times more training than traditional summer camps. In order to minimize transitions and maximize social skill development, campers spend the majority of their days living, playing and dining with the same peer group.

Listen to Our Podcast on the Schedule at Talisman Camps

Typical On-Campus Daily Schedule:

7:30: rise and shine

7:45: morning routine

8:00: Cabin Cleanup

8:15: Morning Group

8:30: Breakfast

9:45: Morning Activity

12:15: Lunch Group

12:30: Lunch

1:30: Downtime

2:30: Afternoon Activities

5:15: Dinner Group

5:30: Dinner

6:45: Evening Activity

8:15: Evening Group

8:30: Nighttime Routine

9:15: Flashlight Time

9:30: Lights Out

Adventure-Based Camps

Each of our expedition-style programs has a unique focus, whether backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas. Our camp gives ADHD and autism spectrum kids the chance to experience adventure and learn exciting new skills. Prior to each off-campus trip, campers learn the wilderness, social, and communication skills they will need to be successful. We offer detailed instruction on how to read maps, set up tarps, paddle canoes and accomplish other tasks before the group departs so that each camper knows what to expect. Even while they’re exploring the wilderness, campers follow a consistent morning and evening routine and participate in processing sessions throughout the day.

When the campers return to Talisman, we celebrate their arrival with pizza, movies and several days of lower-key activities .

Typical Off-Campus Daily Schedule:

The off-campus schedule differs from the on-campus schedule in that when groups are off camp they typically are focusing on one activity. For example, backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, etc.

7:00: Rise and Shine

7:15: Morning Routine/ Pack-Up Camp

8:00: Morning Group

8:15: Breakfast

9:15: Breakfast Clean Up

9:30: Head Out

11:45: Lunch Group

12:00: Lunch

1:00: Lunch Clean Up/ Rest

1:30: Head Out

4:00: Set Up Camp/ Dinner Group

5:30: Dinner

6:15: Dinner Clean Up and Evening Activity

8:30: Nighttime Routine

9:15: Flashlight Time

9:30: Lights Out

Why Come to Camp?

Check out the American Camp Association video:  Because of Camp…®