Let's Get Visual!

Let's Get Visual!

Picture This…

A summer camp where every camper feels like they're part of something truly special. Where laughter fills the air, friendships bloom, and every kid, regardless of their abilities, can shine bright. That's the dream we're living at our camp, and one of the secret ingredients? Visuals!

No matter who your camp caters to, integrating visuals can significantly enhance accessibility and inclusivity for everyone involved. At Camp SkyWild, we welcome children on the autism spectrum alongside their neurotypical siblings, and we've discovered that visuals serve as a universal language. They transcend barriers and offer a bridge to understanding, participation, and enjoyment for all campers.

Why Visuals Rock

  • Keep Things Clear and Predictable: Kids on the spectrum thrive on routine, so visual schedules, timers, and calendars are like gold. They help our campers know what's up and what's next, keeping the vibes chill and anxiety at bay.
  • Help Everyone Communicate: Not everyone digs verbal communication, and that's cool. Visual supports like picture cards and communication boards are like secret codes that help campers express themselves and understand each other better.
  • Make Learning a Breeze: Learning new stuff can be tricky, but visuals make it easier. Whether it's using social stories, visual task prompts, or step-by-step guides, visuals help campers get the hang of things and have a blast while they're at it.
  • Encourage Independence: Visuals aren't just helpful—they're empowering! They give campers the tools they need to do their thing without always needing a hand. That's one way of how we “partner with” instead of “power over”.
  • Bring Everyone Together: Camp is all about inclusivity, and visuals help make that happen. By using visuals, we create a space where every camper, no matter what, feels like they belong and can totally rock it.

Getting Visual 

Wondering how you can incorporate visuals at your camp? It’s easy!

  • Whip Up Some Visual Schedules: Make daily plans pop with picture schedules or fun written timelines that everyone can check out.
  • Get Creative with Visual Supports: Bring in cool stuff like social stories and visual task charts to make sharing information and illuminating the hidden curriculum easy.
  • Give Visual Cues Some Love: Stick up visual cues to help campers move from one rad activity to the next, give them reminders, and keep everyone safe and sound.
  • Personalize Your Visuals: Make visuals suit every camper's style and needs. Because at camp, it's all about being yourself! We do this by recruiting our awesome counselors to make visuals that suit the needs of their cabin/ campers since they know them best!

I want to acknowledge that incorporating visuals into your camp might feel like an extra step, but let me tell you, it's worth every bit of effort. Going above and beyond to create an environment where every camper feels seen, heard, and valued is what camp is all about. If you want to see some examples of visuals we’ve made/ utilized at Camp SkyWild, check out our Google Drive folder to get started!

Want to dig in more on inclusion & belonging?


Maggie MitchellMaggie Mitchell

Programs, Camp SkyWild

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