PEER MODEL CAMPER INFORMATION

LOCATION: HEARTLAND CENTER*

16965 NW 45 Hwy, Parkville, Missouri 64152  

*Camp Encourage's offices are located in Kansas City, MO, but camp sessions are held at Heartland. Please send any written communication to our offices in Westport at 4025 Central, KCMO, 64111.

We appreciate your interest and encourage you to read through each detail below. After doing so and to express interest in attending our camps in 2022, complete a Peer Model Camper Application (which will be released on January 2, 2023). For more information about the overall camp experience, activities, and services, click here.

2023 CAMP SESSIONS

We're counting down the days! 

April 1-2
Overnight Session

Arrival: (will soon be determined)

Departure: (will soon be determined)

June 13-16
Summer Camp Session

Arrival: (will soon be determined)

Departure: (will soon be determined)

August 1-4
Summer Camp Session

Arrival: (will soon be determined)

Departure: (will soon be determined)

September 22-24
Overnight Session

Arrival: (will soon be determined)

Departure: (will soon be determined)

PEER MODEL CAMPER ROLE

Peer Model Campers have an extremely important role at Camp Encourage. Not only do they enhance the lives of other children, they also walk away with new perspectives, enjoyable stories, new friends, and lifelong memories.

Peer Model Campers participate in Camp Encourage like all other campers. They reside in the cabins overnight with the campers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), participate in all camp activities, and are expected to serve as role models for the campers with ASD.

Peer Model Campers are not incorporated as “Junior Counselors” or helpers. Each is to interact with all campers, enhancing each child’s experience at camp and is NOT to isolate him or herself from the campers with ASD.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Any individual not on the autism spectrum, between the age of eight and eighteen may apply. Because Camp Encourage targets social and behavioral deficits often paired with autism spectrum disorder, peers selected need to demonstrate developmentally appropriate social and behavioral skills. Further, applicants must possess patience and kindness, demonstrate acceptance, and be understanding of differences.

If you are uncertain if this experience would be fitting, please contact us before submitting a Peer Model Camper Application.

SELECTION PROCESS

A small number of peer models will be needed for each age group of campers with ASD. After receiving and reviewing each Peer Model Camper Application, we will select applicants that we feel would be a good fit. Preference is often given to returning peers because they have already established friendships and connections with our campers with autism. Depending on the number of quality peer applicants, a lottery may occur. 

APPLICATION SUBMISSION DEADLINES

It is recommended you submit an application at your VERY EARLIEST convenience. Although forms are welcomed throughout the year, applicants are encouraged to submit prior to or on the below dates.

APRIL SESSION: Prior to February 1st

SUMMER SESSIONS: Prior to February 22nd 

SEPTEMBER SESSION: Prior to September 1st 

CAMP COST

Camp costs include quality planning, specialized materials and supports, meals, comfortable cabins, and tailored activities.

Overnights: $195

Summer Sessions: $425

CAMPER SCHOLARSHIPS

In addition to offering this camp experience at a low rate, we provide scholarship funding to peer model campers. 

Many fundraising opportunities are available for peer model campers to raise funds to go directly toward his or her tuition costs. Payment plans can be made as well. If seeking scholarship funding, the request can be made when completing the Peer Model Application.

GOALS

Our primary focus for growth for each Peer Model Camper is:

  • increasing each individual's knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • increasing each individual's appreciation of individual differences

Additionally, just as with our campers with ASD, it is our hope that following the overnight camp experience, our peer model campers:

  • increasing skills of independence
  • enhancing one's self-esteem
  • increasing personal self-understanding and acceptance
  • increasing social abilities
  • widening awareness of recreation opportunities and skills of recreation
  • connecting with others with similar interests, needs, and/or abilities