River Camp Firebaugh has been the best part of Juan's summer vacation over the last 7 years.
But this wasn't true at the beginning of the first week he attended. During his first week at camp, Juan's parents had to beg him to get up and get out the door. It only took one week of fun and adventure down by the San Joaquin River for Juan to change his mind about camp. Soon he was hurrying his parents along in the morning.
Because camp was such a positive experience for Juan, he has participated in camp every summer since the program was launched in 2012.
Juan is on the autism spectrum and it was challenging for him to fit into settings with new people. He struggled during his first week at camp, but over the course of that first summer he became one of the most well-liked campers.
Juan's parents shared with us that River Camp helped him learn to interact with children his age. His experience at River Camp Firebaugh helped him become more comfortable at home and at school.
Each summer Juan developed deeper friendships with other campers and the camp staff. This summer, Juan served as a Junior Leader helping facilitate camp programs for younger children. As the summer came to a close, Juan told us that his experience at River Camp this year helped him build his confidence in working with children and his leadership skills.
From introducing children to nature, to building confidence and friendship, River Camp is changing lives. Thank you for making this program possible.