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Autism Family Weekends at the Center for Courageous Kids

By Lane Vaughn, Technical Writing Intern

The Center for Courageous Kids (CCK) celebrates the joys of childhood in a unique way. They are a medical camp, located in Scottsville, Kentucky, that dedicate their time year round to letting kids be kids—regardless of ability. CCK hosts summer camps and family retreat weekends designed exclusively for kids aged 3-17 with special needs, with each camp focusing around a different diagnosis. Here, kids can have the camp experience, while feeling physically safe and supported. Perhaps best of all, the camp is completely free of charge.

CCK hosts two Autism Family Weekends each year—one in the fall, and one in the spring. Each retreat weekend accepts 32 families, and provides “resort style” lodging: individual family rooms, bathrooms, and shower stalls, and a lobby stocked with toiletries and amenities. The camp also houses a full medical center, with hired health care specialists on site during camp sessions. This year’s fall Autism Family Weekend is September 30 through October 2.

Outside of the Autism Family Weekend, CCK partners every year with the Clinical Education Complex (CEC) for the CEC Family Fun Day, where kids with Autism, their family members and friends are invited to the camp for a “jam packed day of fun.” This year’s event is on November 12. All camp activities are open, and families have the chance to meet the wonderful staff members who are dedicated to providing a normal, uplifting, and fun experience for every child.

One such staff member is Alvin Farmer, the Healthcare Partnership Coordinator and Camper Recruiter. He has been with CCK since 2009, when he began working as a summer counselor. After four summers of being a counselor, Farmer was hired as a year-round staff member. Through years of organizing and helping with family retreat weekends, he has learned valuable lessons from the families he has encountered.

“I got to see how [the camp] affected the entire family,” said Farmer. “They go through the day-to-day life of the needs of their child 365 days of the year. Being able to see them, and how they—no matter what is going on—still have a smile on their face… it’s rewarding to watch and learn from them.”

The Center for Courageous Kids offers activities that everyone in the family can enjoy. These include typical camp activities such as archery, swimming, and arts and crafts, but CCK also has a few unique activities, such as a theatre for talent shows, a beauty salon and barbershop, an indoor pool, and a bowling alley. They even have a rock wall with a pulley system for individuals with limited mobility.

The CCK staff members, including Farmer, want every kid to have a free, safe, and, most importantly, fun experience.

“We believe everyone is a Courageous Camper,” said Farmer. “Once you’re on camp—kids, adults, siblings—you are considered a camper here at CCK, and we’ll take care of you.”

Families who are interested in attending can email info@courageouskids.org, or call their office at  1-270-618-2900.

To learn more about The Center for Courageous Kids, visit www.courageouskids.org CCK Autism Weekend 2CCK Autism Weekend

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