June 2018 marks the first Joseph Maley Family Support Sibs Summer Camp.  Participants will share their experiences as siblings of individuals with disabilities in a safe and respectful environment.  Campers will also have the opportunity to engage in other Joseph Maley Foundation programs such as Service Day, HOPE, and disABILITY Awareness.

Individuals of sibling with disabilities often have their own unique needs.  They serve as mentors and advocates for their siblings, in and out of school.  Most importantly, siblings are often a support system for one another.  While the sibling with disabilities may have their own resources and therapies available, other children in the family may need an environment outside the home where they are able to share their own emotional and social needs with others who understand their experience.  The Sibs Summer Camp will provide campers with that environment, as well as the opportunity to participate in activities geared toward leadership, inclusion, and service.

This summer camp experience is possible through the guidance of trained facilitators who have a shared background with participants.  These talented young adults develop relationships with campers as they mentor and share their own experiences as siblings of individuals with disabilities.  Family Support Director Mary Bowman discussed the need for facilitators, “During our first facilitator training, one of the young adults looked around at the group and commented that she really wished there would have been something like this when she was growing up.  We need compassionate young adults who have a sibling with a disability to help facilitate… from a place of understanding.”

Both facilitators and camp volunteers will receive training specific to campers’ needs, such as fostering small group discussions and leading age-appropriate activities.  The Sibs Summer Camp is open to children in first through eighth grades and registration is open online.  If you are interested in volunteering as a facilitator, please complete our Facilitator Application today, and help make this summer one our campers will never forget.

Post written by:

Courtney Basso, Events and Communications Director