United Way is supporting the summer 2021 Arc of Sedgwick County’s Youth Education Summer Socialization Program (nicknamed Y.E.S.S. Camp), a nine-week summer program serving students ages 5-21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program offers a half day of education in classroom settings and a half day of recreation in the community Monday through Thursday. Friday offers day trips throughout the state.
The Y.E.S.S. program is designed to help students retain what they have learned during the school year while developing improved communication and socialization skills. United Way of the Plains supports the program by helping to provide scholarships for students who might not otherwise be able to afford the opportunity.
The beauty of Y.E.S.S. Camp is it gives students the chance to enjoy being themselves without worrying about their disabilities, which can often feel emphasized in a regular school setting. Students develop long-lasting friendships with peers, continue learning to avoid the summer slump and, above all, develop social and self-esteem skills they might otherwise never have the opportunity to discover.
Every visit to Y.E.S.S. Camp is a joy to witness; one word to describe each day would be “fun.” It is impossible to see the interaction between campers and not leave with a smile on your face.
In this video, meet camper Ashton Jones. Hear in his own words how meaningful his camp experience has been. But a warning: he might steal your heart.