Residents of the hospital’s Transitional Care Unit celebrated the first week of summer by participating in activities and outings as part of Camp WAVES, a summer camp designed by the Recreation Therapy Department. Supported by a donation from The Goodwyn H&H Foundation Fund, Camp WAVES (Wheeling Around Virginia Enjoying Summer) included daily community outings such as participating in therapeutic horseback riding, visiting the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, fishing, playing adaptive soccer and enjoying the water park at Great Wolf Lodge. On-site activities like arts and crafts and massage therapy were also included in the daily camp itinerary.
“Camp WAVES gave the kids a chance to see and do things outside of the hospital environment,” said Vernita Easley, CTRS, Recreation Therapy Manager.
Nineteen residents enjoyed the week’s activities with each child participating in at least two community outings. Children were selected for outings based on age, past outing experiences and personal interests.
“We want our kids to have the best experience possible when we take them out into the community,” said Vernita, who with approximately 10 staff members accompanied the children each day.
Mary’s son, Zarren, traveled to Great Wolf Lodge on the last day of camp.
“Zarren loves water and was absolutely fascinated watching the pools, slides and falls,” recalled Mary. “He really loved sitting in the wading pool and floating in the tube.”
She said he also enjoyed watching his sister and other children playing on the arcade’s dance machine and simulated car racing machine.
“The Great Wolf Lodge outing was one of the highlights of the week,” recalled Vernita, who plans to make Camp WAVES an annual event. “The kids’ response was phenomenal. They were kicking their legs, moving their arms, smiling and just enjoying the atmosphere.”
Activities like fishing at Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery offered multiple sensory stimulation experiences while an on-site spa, set up in a hospital conference room, provided scalp and hand massages, relaxing music and aroma therapy for children.
“Camp WAVES reinforces my joy in transferring Zarren to Children’s Hospital in 2001,” Mary said. “He not only receives wonderful medical care and attention but is introduced to social environments he may otherwise have never experienced.”
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