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Common Questions from Camp Counsellors

How is Camps on TRACKS going to help me?

Camps on TRACKS will benefit camp counsellors by having peers assist and interact with children with disabilities and social challenges, rather than camp counsellors including them or programming for them separately. It is often reported that camp counsellors have more opportunities for other activities with this approach. At the beginning, Camps on TRACKS can be more work up-front since training for the peers needs to occur. This is followed by prompting through peers, and ultimately peers will integrate these skills naturally in the camp setting.

When should I be using TRACKS?

Camps on TRACKS should be utilized across all areas of the camp. The key is to train as many peers in the beginning as possible, before the camp activities begin. Then, as the natural progression of camp occurs, TRACKS strategies can be used by the peers to include all campers with disabilities and social challenges across all activities, including meals, transitions, and down time.

How do I get other staff in my camp using TRACKS?

Often, the biggest key to demonstrate the success to other camp counsellors is for them to see the effectiveness of peers helping peers. Once peers are trained and are assisting children with social challenges, with little adult support, and in more age-appropriate manners, camp counsellors immediately buy-in. Camp counsellors and other staff see the social skills of the identified campers increasing, naturally, and taught by their peers.

How do I get campers involved with TRACKS?

There are five main phases of Camps on TRACKS that campers proceed through in order to learn about TRACKS and for camp counsellors to facilitate the process. Complete the free online training for access to more information and free resources.
1.    Introduction to the Camps on TRACKS program
2.    Camper Awareness
3.    Teaching TRACKS
4.    Prompting Through Peers
5.    Reward Systems

We do not have any children at our camp with a known diagnosis, why should we use TRACKS?

The Camps on TRACKS program is for ALL campers to be included and to have fun at camp. There are many campers who may not have a diagnosis, but may have some difficulties with social skills and interacting with their peers. The Camps on TRACKS program helps ALL kids be better friends, regardless of their differences, by teaching them the appropriate skills to interact and coach others, creating an environment of belonging for everyone.

Is the Camps on TRACKS program hard to implement? 

Camps on TRACKS is not hard to implement, it is just adjusting to how you approach different situations. Most camps are set up using an adult-mediated approach, where the leader would approach the individual with a disability or social challenge to include them or teach them a skill directly. The difference with Camps on TRACKS is adjusting that mindset, and focusing instead on a peer-mediated approach. In this approach, peers are taught by their leaders thow to interact and connect with a camper who may have a disability or social challenge. 

Is there anything developed for other age groups or environments?

Yes, Stay Play and Talk is a program that has been developed for the early years, and Peer Pals is available in some school boards. If you would like information about either of these programs or are interested in exploring other ideas, Contact Us at info [at] campsontracks [dot] com, we'd love to hear from you!

Common Questions from Parents

How is TRACKS going to help my child?

Camps on TRACKS is implemented using a peer-mediated approach, providing campers with the skills to assist in modeling, teaching, and prompting children with disabilities and social challenges. In doing this, children are taught to use age-appropriate social skills in natural camp activities. Therefore, peers will be including your child, asking them to join activities, and initiating conversation. Often when peers are taught how to interact and assist, rather than just be physically included with children with disabilities, they are the best ‘teachers.’ Peers are more effective social skill models, as their prompts and mannerisms are much more age-appropriate than when adults teach these same skills. When peers take the lead on these interactions the skills generalize easier into the natural environment, rather than an adult teaching the skill and hoping it generalizes in the activities with peers.

Are other kids or staff going to find out what my child is diagnosed with through this program?

This is up to each parent and staff team. Camps on TRACKS is designed to be run with no identifying information about any one child or any one diagnosis. The curriculum is designed to discuss unique similarities and differences in all children—not just focusing on disabilities (i.e., height, favourite activities, hair color, etc). However, at times, knowing why your child may do something may be helpful for peers to include him or her. In addition, at times, knowing how to use a communication system that your child uses or knowing when and how to bring them into the group may be helpful. This can be done while prompting through peers, but specific teaching from the adults to the peers may be done around these areas if parents and camp counsellors choose.

“I have definitely seen an increase in peer interaction with TRACKS, we have noticed now that what was a leader centered camp atmosphere is now child centered. They’re doing things for each other to make sure all the campers are included.”Adam, City of London Camp Coordinator
Adam, City of London Camp Coordinator