Camp Jabiru provides holistic treatment of children with sensory processing challenges, maximizing the inherent benefits of the natural environment and peer support and supplementing with individualized therapeutic supports for each camper. While disruptions in sensory processing are the common denominator for camper selection, Camp Jabiru utilizes a holistic format for maximizing therapeutic benefit for each child. Camp Jabiru is a uniquely “occupational therapy” environment, for we see the children in all of their occupational roles across an enormous variety of daily living tasks.
An additional part of the Camp Jabiru mission is to instill high levels of clinical reasoning in occupational therapists. Toward that end, the practicum program has been developed. For practicum therapists, the learning activities will include opportunities for formal lectures, discussions, and loads of practical, “hands on” experience.
The campers selected for Jabiru typically would not succeed in a typical camp experience due to the challenges posed by living with differences in sensory processing. Each practicum will be presented with opportunities to enhance professional development and skills within the framework of the camp’s goals for the children. It is essential that practicum therapists keep this philosophy in mind. The overall goal for each child is to have a successful camp experience; therefore, treatment will be geared at supporting this goal and will look different than treatment might in a typical treatment facility. Individual goals are set for each camper. These goals are used to assess the child’s individual progress and also the impact of camp as a whole. We are constantly evaluating and improving the camp model. In 2019, we completed a research study on the effect of camp on adaptability in the campers. Check out our research page for more details!
The children will be assigned to groups by age and gender (about 125 campers in all). Group activities are coordinated by a team. The team leader is one of The Sensory Gym® staff or an occupational therapist who has previously attended Camp Jabiru. This therapist will have been intimately involved in every step of the Camp Jabiru process, from camper selection, to activity selection, to therapeutic supports and individualized sensory diets. These therapists will coordinate each group’s adult team. The adult team will consist of at least one other occupational therapist, a practicum therapist, 2-4 OT students, and an outdoor education staff person provided by the YMCA. This allows for a minimum 1.5:1 child to adult ratio. The adult teams must work cohesively and collaboratively in order to ensure that the camp experience is a positive and therapeutic one for each child.
The daily schedule follows a typical camp schedule. There are numerous activities each day, all of which have intrinsic therapeutic qualities. A group might participate in abseiling, caving, crafts and games on one typical camp day. There is no specific “therapy” treatment time at Jabiru; rather, therapeutic supports are woven into the context of each activity throughout the day.
The majority of Jabiru campers will attend day camp. At this time, we are planning for about 50 overnight campers as well, including a group of “apprentices” who have previously “graduated” from Jabiru and are returning to camp to work in varying capacities in the camp program. Spending time with the overnight campers provides a unique insight into many of the challenges the children and their families experience on a daily basis. All practicum therapists will be staying overnight at camp, whether or not they are assigned to an overnight group.
Practicum therapists’ learning experiences will be facilitated by master occupational therapists with advanced training in the clinical reasoning model used at camp. We will also have the support of other master clinicians from the US and Canada, either virtually or in person, pending COVID restrictions. All master level clinicians will be therapists who are internationally recognized for their expertise in multiple paediatric occupational therapy frames of reference and treatment. Prior to camp there will be a practicum lecture day that includes training in the clinical reasoning model from Tracy Murnan Stackhouse, MA, OTR/L, with additional support from Colleen Hacker, MS, OTR, and Lynette Burke, OTR/L. There will also be daily lectures for practicums throughout the camp week with discussions facilitated by these master clinicians, and all facilitators will be providing support for staff and campers throughout the camp day. The actual “hands on” learning time and formal learning time available to practicum therapists averages about 12 hours per day.
In applying, remember that the camp environment necessitates active participation, physical stamina, and “forced intimacy.” The camp environment is more than comfortable but may be “rustic” by some standards. It is an experience that can be life changing as well as a lot of fun, provided one comes with an open mind and flexible attitude about what each day will hold.
Practicum Dates and Logistics
Practicum Lecture Day Date: April 8th Location: The Sensory Gym® Time: 9am-5pm Meals: Lunch and snacks included with fee Lodging: Available at Camp Yarramundi for an additional fee
Staff Orientation Day Date: April 9th Location: Camp Yarramundi Time: TBD Meals: Lunch and dinner included with fee Lodging: Included with fee
Camp Week Date: April 10-14th Location: Camp Yarramundi Lectures: 12-2pm daily M-Th, 7:30-9:30am F Meals: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner included with fee Lodging: Included with fee
Applications will be taken until positions are full. Payment of $1800 is required at the time of application, and will be refunded if a space is not available for you. If you have any questions about the practicum or application process, please email email@example.com.
You will need to complete the following forms to attach to your application: