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A Wilder OT: Fun, Safety, & Adventure at Kiwanis Camp

1 January 2012


The mission of Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp is to empower children and adults with special needs.

The partnership between Kiwanis Camp and Pacific University started in 2010. The vision for this partnership was to bring occupational therapy services to the camp in order to enhance camper participation (McClure & French, 2010). The focus at that time was to teach basic sensory techniques in order to provide adaptations for campers and program modifications based on task analyses that were performed, as well as begin considering Kiwanis Camp as a possible fieldwork site for occupational therapy graduate students (McClure & French, 2010).

In 2011 further sensory suggestions and program modifications were provided to the camp as well as an in depth manual outlining the specifics of fieldwork (Forgeron & Jackson, 2011). While the structure for fieldwork was established, the specifics for what an occupational therapy position would entail were not clear to camp officials. The camps readiness and the funding to hire an occupational therapist were not adequate. The current project leaders developed a job description for an occupational therapist position as a portion of their project.

During the summer of 2011, Tyler Joy and David Huffman were the first Pacific University occupational therapy students actually to attend camp. At that time they attended camp for a period of about one week observing a counselor training session, the transition periods for individuals coming and leaving camp, and program activities for two separate camper populations. Being involved in all of these aspects of camp gave them the opportunity to perform a comprehensive needs assessment. This comprehensive needs assessment considered activity demands in the context of cognitive, sensory, motor, and social function.


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