Camp Seagull gave teens a summer of adventure, learning and fun

Friday, September 7, 2018

For seven weeks during the summer, special needs students enjoyed days filled with new adventures and learning as well as a whole lot of fun.

Camp Seagull made it all possible. The camp provided a summer full of adventures and learning for teens and young adults with developmental disabilities under the supervision of the same teachers and staff from Seagull Academy along with summer camp counselors.

Each week the camp had a different theme that incorporated field trips, special visitors, new experiences, and exercises for the mind and body. Themes included Superheroes and Community Helpers, Let’s Go to the Movies, Cruise Around the World, and The Old West.

During Superheroes and Community Helpers week, students visited the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse and met some of the K9 deputies as well.  Other highlights were visits to several restaurants, a tour of Hoffman’s Chocolates, weekly hands-on science experiments and a weekly dance party.

For Coral Dabbs who struggles with autism, the program provided a summer of happy days.

“She just loves it,” said her father, Rob Dabbs. “She came home happy almost every day. Some of her favorite days were going bowling, and she likes going to the movies. And it’s really helpful for single parents like me because it’s not as expensive as some of the big camps.”

To Joanie Behrens, the most important part of Camp Seagull was new friends for her son, Brandon.

“The program is phenomenal,” she said. “He made some friends at Seagull, and he loved the program. Texas Roadhouse is one of his favorite places to eat, so he was excited about that behind-the-scenes field trip,” she said. Brandon also got something else very important – male role models, Joanie said.

“The other thing that I love is the male support figures,” she said. “It’s just been fantastic.”

Barbara Nurenberg, President and CEO of Seagull Services, said donors and foundations help make Camp Seagull possible for many students.

“Without individual donors and foundations that provided substantial support for camp scholarships for many of our campers, families could not possibly afford such a safe, enriching and exciting summer.”