In July, the College of Public Health hosted Variety—the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley, an organization that serves children with disabilities resulting from injury, illness, or congenital conditions, for a two-week camp.
Assisted by recreational therapy students and faculty members, around 10 Variety campers took part in a range of activities: games, arts and crafts, music-making, swimming, outdoor sports, and more. Each day fit a different theme, such as cooking, music, sports, and a carnival, to keep students active and engaged. The activities were designed to strengthen social and critical thinking skills and simply provide typical summer camp activities for the children, many of whom have special needs or benefit from sensory stimulation.
“The camp keeps them active and allows them to be more social with other children,” said Fatema Ibrahim, a Master of Science in Recreational Therapy student who helped at the camp. “And I have been learning new techniques, especially for working with children with disabilities.”
Variety is located nearly an hour from Philadelphia in Worcester, Pennsylvania, so the Temple satellite camp provided an opportunity for students in the Greater Philadelphia area to more easily access its services. This was the first year of the camp collaboration with the College of Public Health, but both groups hope to bring the camp back for future sessions.
"The Variety camp is a perfect example of how the college strives to make our community partnerships beneficial for all involved," said Kate Gallagher, director of the Office of Clinical Practice and Field Education. "Students work firsthand with a community partner to help them in their mission. In turn, our students are able to gain experience in clinical practice and working with a range of populations."