ABILITY DAY CAMP
Bayonne Recreation Ability Day Camp is a social group for special needs children and adults run by the Division of Recreation.
To become a member a person must live in Bayonne, be at least five years old, and be classified with a handicap. At the present time we have approximately 70 members. Our youngest is 6, the oldest is 58. The handicaps include: Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Autism, Seizure disorders.
Out of a staff of 11 part time workers, 4 of them are certified teachers, with many years experience in this program and within the school system. They work with a wide range of ages from preschool through high school.
This program is broken into 2 sessions: winter (September – June) and Summer (July – August). There is a three week break between both to provide time to update paperwork, schedule activities, and buy needed supplies.
Our winter session runs from mid September to mid June (as we follow the school schedule). Our day begins at 2pm when the members are picked up by us from their various homes, schools, and workshops. After everyone is picked up they are brought to the day’s activity. At the conclusion of the day everyone is dropped off at their home. Our schedule is a follows:
Monday: Bowling at Hudson Lanes
Tuesday: Arts and Crafts at the 4th Street Senior Center
Wednesday: Girls Gym at Washington School, Boys Golf at the 16th Street Golf School, Game Day at the 16th Street Camp Office
Thursday: Girls Gym at Washington School, Boys Golf at the 16th Street Golf School, Game Day at the 16th Street Camp Office, Bocce at 19th Street Italian Club
Friday: Swimming at Lincoln Pool or Jewish Community Center Pool
Once a month we go to the movies. We also go ice skating when the rink is open to the public. Parents receive a schedule at the beginning of each month, detailing each days activity.
Within the regular winter session, is another program, the Tuesday Night Social. It is for members over 18 years of age. They get together once a week for various outings. Sometimes they use the 27th Street Senior Center to watch movies, play games, do crafts, and cook. Other times they go on local trips to the movies, the mall, arcades, and different sporting events.
Our summer session runs from July to August. Our day begins at 8am and can end anywhere from 2-6pm, depending on the days activity. Parents are mailed a schedule at the end of June detailing the trips and the process. Our usual Schedule is as follows:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Swimming at the municipal pool
Tuesday: Small local trips such as bowling, movies, mall
Thursday: Big Trips such as amusement parks, aquariums, museums
The summer session finished off with a three day sleep away trip, which for most of our members is their only time away from home.