You might be thinking about sending your child to Camp Tuku in New York or Arizona. Maybe you’ve pursued our website and seen our photos and videos, but are still wondering “is Camp Tuku a good fit for my child?” We’d like to share a bit more about how we embrace the uniqueness of each child who attends Camp Tuku.
Diversity at Camp Tuku
During any given camp session, many different children are represented in our camper population. Furthermore, any child can have difficulties at camp, not just those with special developmental or health needs. This can include home sickness, acting out, or conflict with a bunk mate.
We do not define a child by their abilities or their disabilities. We embrace who a child is by recognizing their unique qualities, skills, personality characteristics, life experience, and so forth. Diversity is embraced at Camp Tuku.
Campers coming to Camp Tuku have different socio-economic backgrounds, family structures, and some have even come to us as refugees, such as from the nation of Ukraine. All of this adds to the rich diversity of the camp population, but it also means our staff must be attentive to the ways these experiences can affect each child.
Camp Tuku Staff Training
Because the mix of campers arriving at Camp Tuku can vary for each session, our camp counselors and directors receive training to orientate them to the diverse developmental needs of children. This encompasses a variety of differing abilities and life experiences that can be found among a large group of children, such as (but not limited to):
- Spectrum Disorders
- Challenging behaviors
- Emotional needs (such as grief/loss, trauma, sensitivity)
- Loss of a parent or other caregiver
Staff learn what are appropriate social-emotional responses to have when interacting with a given child and ways to support that child’s unique needs. This helps to ensure that a child receives the most benefit from their time at camp.
Training for Camp Tuku Counselors
Before campers arrive for the first day at Camp Tuku, our staff learn and practice techniques for providing instruction, navigating difficult emotions, and resolving conflict. These techniques are grounded in the research behind mindfulness practices and SEE Learning (Social, Emotional, Ethical Learning), trauma-informed practice, resilience tools, and other research-backed approaches for working with children. These techniques can include:
- Setting and clarifying expectations
- Checking for understanding
- Providing alternate instructions or modifying an activity
- Providing brain breaks
- Following-through on expectations and natural consequences
- Nonjudgmental understanding- connect & validate camper’s experience/emotions
- Neutralizing distressing events
- Behavioral support (mindfulness skills, grounding & resourcing strategies)
Our counselors always have the support of our exceptionally trained and experienced directors. In this way, we at Camp Tuku can provide your child with a supportive atmosphere in which to foster their social-emotional development, help them thrive through new experiences, and create friendships and memories to last a lifetime. Contact us to learn more about Camp Tuku in New York or Arizona.