ADHD, HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM
Ages 13 – 17
Quest brings adventure games to life! Campers learn basic survival techniques, such as building shelters, tracking, and map and compass, while flat-water canoeing on a multi-day expedition on a beautiful North Carolina mountain lake. Following an on-campus orientation to paddling and camping skills, the group sets off on a week-long off-campus adventure. Traveling between various island and shoreline campsites, they seek hidden treasures while honing cooperation, problem-solving, and team work skills. They return to camp to celebrate the completion of their journey, bringing with them tangible treasures and a sense of accomplishment and growth.
Participants learn to depend on themselves and each other as they move through the quest. They rely on their own power for transport and must work together to set up campsite each night. Campers utilize tandem canoes as an opportunity to strengthen communication skills when navigating the lake. When solving puzzles or interpreting map and compass readings, they build cooperation and problem-solving skills as well as appreciation for differences of opinion. Orienteering provides real world practice in visual processing and interpreting concrete information into global perspectives. The discovery and distribution of “treasure” offer lessons in encouragement and sharing. Along the way, issues are addressed in group discussions, with an emphasis on taking responsibility for actions, finding just solutions, and moving forward.
The Quest group spends the first few days on-campus, learning both basic camping skills and more primitive survival skills. Time is spent on our pond and a local lake developing flatwater paddling skills. They are also introduced to orienteering, the use of map and compass for navigation. Once on the trip, they count on these skills to guide them to their campsites and each treasure, in a practical application of math and decoding, bringing the lines on the map and the numbers on the compass to life in the scene before their eyes. The weeklong expedition includes time paddling, navigating to “treasure”, and creating “survival” campsites (although they will actually sleep under tarps and carry camp stoves and food). Upon return to camp, they clean up and reflect on what they have learned and accomplished together.