Arthur Conroy has always loved the outdoors, but it used to be a challenge for his family to take him hiking.
“He’s a runner. He used to bolt and not look back,” mom Katrina Davis says of her son, who’s on the autism spectrum. “We wanted to enjoy the outdoors with him, but we were afraid. We needed support.”
They found that support at Camp Fire, attending our Special Family Camp for the first time when Arthur was 9. When they hiked the trails around Camp Sealth or strolled the beach, a trained staffer joined them and made them feel more at ease.
During group activities or mealtimes, no one minded if Arthur chose to do his own thing for a while. With a free-flowing schedule, his family got to decide what they wanted to do and when. It made Arthur feel more comfortable and relaxed.
“Special Family Camp was a launching point for outdoor activity in our family,” Katrina says. “Easing him into it with such support, it made us feel successful to continue trying it.”
Arthur’s big sister, Jace, enjoyed connecting with other special kids and their siblings. She’s gone on to volunteer in our Shooting Stars program for children with autism, a partnership with Seattle Children’s Autism Center where Katrina works a family advocate.
Arthur is 16 now. When he ventures out into the woods with his family, it’s a peaceful and invigorating experience for everyone.
“We walk side by side and talk, smell flowers, pick up pine cones, put our hands in the water, watch squirrels,” Katrina says.
“It really settles his soul to be outside.”
Join Us at Special Family Camp!
Space is still available at our 2016 Special Family Camp this May 28-30.