Summer Camps at STAR

During the summer months, our art and music therapists like to find new ways to branch out even further into our community to offer their unique services. One of our favorite ways we try to reach those who don’t always have the benefit of our services throughout the year is through summer camps.

Art Therapy and Music Therapy are designed to provide experiences and strategies for each person we work with to meet their specific goals, whether they are working on communication, cognitive, physical, and/or emotional.  These goals are not intrinsically musical or artistic, but will hopefully generalize to the person’s life outside of therapy. One of the more creative ways we, as art therapists and music therapists, get to exercise this skill is through our summer camps at the STAR Center.

So far this summer, the STAR Center has hosted three summer camps, each with a unique focus: SOAR Camp, Superhero Training Camp, and Arts-4-Autism.

Soar Camp

A mock job interview at SOAR Camp

SOAR Camp focused on preparing youth with disabilities (ages 16-22) for employment.  These individuals might be thinking about future studies or immediate job opportunities. Staff and guest speakers focused on self-advocacy and job exploration throughout the week. At the end of camp, each camper made a presentation on self-advocacy and participated in mock interviews with STAR Center Board Members and community volunteers.  For many of these people, it was the first time they had participated in interviews. Every camper left SOAR Camp with a resume they could take to job interviews.

Superhero Training Camp

A boy throws a ball at the parachute that a group is playing with

Superhero Training Camp was aimed at children of any ability, ages 5-12. Each day was geared toward a positive character trait and learning the tools needed to be an everyday superhero! Our staff combined literacy and creativity through music and art to meet the enrichment needs of the various levels of need presented in each camper in an inclusion-type setting. One of my favorite elements of Superhero training camp was watching campers work to include one another. They did a great job of paying attention to one another. What does he like? What is she able to do? Together, they showed what it meant to be an everyday superhero.

Arts-4-Autism Camp

Arts-4-Autism Camp was designed specifically for children of all ages diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  This is our most well established camp, and it has taken place for a number of years now. Our art and music therapists utilized their expertise to provide a challenging environment so campers could grow. They also sought to meet the social, communication, movement, educational, and sensory needs of each camper. This camp creates a space in which people with autism feel at home. It also provides a unique social environment where campers are able to thrive.

One big similarity.

What do all our camps have in common?

There is no secret as to why we do what we do. The simplicity of our purpose is in our mission statement: to help any person with any disability realize their potential. We are constantly seeking new opportunities and new avenues to explore that will help us help others. Our mission is embedded in the very fabric of all we do, whether that is offering summer camps, attending daily meetings, traveling to meet with a new client, or greeting our clients at the door.

One more opportunity!

Art Camp is just around the corner and perfect for the young aspiring artist of any ability! Our art therapist has designed several unique experiences for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade, including sculpture art and screen printing. Be prepared to create art with a variety of techniques and materials! Art Camp is being held July 11-14 at the STAR Center at 1119 Old Humboldt Rd. To sign up, or for more information, contact Janie Giles Carp at (731) 554-5137 for more information. You can also register online by clicking here!

About the Author : Chrissy Watson

NOTE: This person is a past employee or intern of the STAR Center. Their name and authorship is preserved for posterity. Chrissy Watson was the Clinical Internship Director at Star Center, Inc. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Chrissy became a board-certified music therapist in 2007 following her internship at The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation in Houston, TX. For the last 10 years, Chrissy has enjoyed working with a variety of populations in both North Carolina and Tennessee. Since coming to Star in 2012, Chrissy has facilitated the growth of the department to 4 full-time staff and continues to oversee the supervision of interns who come to Jackson from around the country. With a passion for forwarding the profession of Music Therapy through research, advocacy, and training of the next generation of therapists, Chrissy completed certification in Neurologic Music Therapy in 2014, is currently working to complete her Master of Music Therapy degree from Colorado State University, and serves on the TN State Task Force, the national Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC), and continues to present at both regional and national conferences. Outside of work, Chrissy is fanatical about church, baking, reading, theater, and KU basketball and secretly hopes for snow in the middle of summer.

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