Summer Explorations is a program that offers youth ages 14-19 the opportunity to develop and practice daily living skills in a structured, supportive and positive environment. The program includes weekly participant-planned field trips and team-building activities as well as the completion of group community service projects. Self-awareness and improving social competence by teaching ways of thinking and being social are integrated throughout the program curriculum. Activities take place in small groups with a high staff-to-youth ratio to provide participants with individualized social coaching.
The goals of the program are as follows:
- To give participants a fun filled experience in a structured supportive setting.
- To help develop independent living skills.
- To provide direct feedback about the use of communication, organizational, and social skills.
- To increase participants’ social and problem-solving skills through hands-on activities.
- To offer varied experiences in community settings.
- To create an age-appropriate environment that supports a sense of empowerment, in which self-monitoring and self-advocacy can be discussed and practiced..
- To be responsive to feedback provided by participants and their families about their needs.