Music blares from the speakers. Hamburgers and hot dogs cook on the grill. Campers play games around the waterfront. Songs are sung at the campfire. At first glance it looks like the first day of any session at camp. However, if you look closely you will see the uniqueness of this session. One camper sits on the fringe of the crowd while his staff partner encourages him to slowly meet his cabin. Another camper is helped by her staff partner in learning the camp songs so she can join her cabin in singing at campfire. Sitting on a bench near the water are a, a camper and his staff partner teach other campers how to communicate in sign language. Welcome to the Embracing Children (EC) Week at the Metropolis of Boston Camp (MBC).
The Embracing Children program of MBC began in 2004 and provides children with special needs an opportunity to enjoy fun, faith, and fellowship with other Orthodox Youth in New England. This past summer, four special campers were given a camp experience that enabled them to interact with other children of their faith in a fun, safe environment. The Embracing Children program strives to provide whatever modifications and supports a child needs in order for he or she to truly feel part of the camp program. A sibling of a camper with special needs who spent the week at camp noted "my brother has never had the opportunity to feel one with other children, staff, and be part of the community of the church, until that week we spent at EC."
The campers of Embracing Children participate in chapel services, arts and crafts, discussions, cabin talent shows, slip and slide baseball, waterfront, and various other activities. One young camper, Emma, who has been involved with EC since its inception, commented, "It was good. It was fun. It made me feel happy. I want to go back."
The Embracing Children program at MBC is committed to continually look for ways to improve and expand its program to better serve the needs of our Orthodox children. If you are interested in learning more about the program, or would like to be involved, please contact the Youth Office at 617-277-4742.
Click here to view photos of the summer!