Camp Good Times of Charleston helps to provide summer fun for Lowcountry children with autism. They're our Cool Camp of the week.
Summer fun is priority here at Camp Good Times. From swimming, to fishing, to fun activities, Camp Good Times, a camp for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder has it all.
Camp director Beth Weiner says, “Whatever kind of support they need, we provide. Camp Good Times is here because children who have an autism spectrum disorder it's very difficult for them to attend typical summer programs, a typical summer camp. Children with autism may not be verbal. They might not be independent in their physical care. They may have other communication issues, or inappropriate social behaviors, and at our camp what we do is we accept everyone and we just deal with what comes.”
The camp is housed at Hunley Park Elementary School in North Charleston and provides a fun environment for 128 children with autism, ages 3-19. Students like 16-year-old John Newman stand tall and shine. John says, “It's great. I love it. I hope I can come here next year. I like that you can interact with kids that are autistic. It helps me understand what autism is like. I have autism, I have Asperger Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.”
Students have fun activities and field trips. A camper, William even showed off his basketball skills. Parent Fred Cook says, “Camp Good Times is great for the kids. They're allowed to be themselves. They're able to interact with their normal peers, and have a pretty good time.” Parent Tanya Sanders says, “It's just such a great place for kids to just be. It's so hard to be out in the world in typical places, and everybody stares and thinks that they're different and this place you don't have to be different. Everybody loves everybody, you're accepted here no matter what you do or no matter what your behaviors are. Everybody is accepted here and that's what it's about.” Ten-year-old C.J. Swain says, “You can go to the pool, field trips, movies, second was splash zone. We come in and it's like a family, greatest camp you could ever see in your life.” John says, “I plan to come here the rest of my life if I could.”
Camp Good times is a private non profit that has served children with autism spectrum disorder since the 19-70's.
Camp counselors are special education teachers, classroom autism professionals, or experienced adults who work with kids with disabilities. Camp Good Times is held three weeks over the summer break. There's a waiting list every year.
The students fish with the Lowcountry Anglers. They have sponsored the camp since 2006.