GiGi’s summer is off to a great start!

Summer is off to a great start at GiGi’s Playhouse Raleigh–

On June 12th we kicked off our first week of summer camp program- leading us off were our Warriors.  We had eight young adults 18+ join us for paddle boats, holding baby goats, feeding alpaca llamas and horses. We learned about our National Parks at Marbles Museum and toured a farm and learned about how honey is made by an expert bee keeper; we finished the week by bowling at Cinabowl in a fierce competition by all. The highlight of the week was our ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating a year of GiGi’s being open in our community.

Each week of camp consisted of different age groups and age appropriate activities. We established community relationships with Marbles Kids Museum, Made Authentic Goods, Dj’s Berry Patch, School of Rock Cary, North Carolina Museum of Science, Cinabowl Grille Park Side Commons, Lunch/outdoor activities at Bond Park and Putt Putt at Alligators in our shopping center. All of these relationships built provided opportunities for our participants that may have been a first time experience!

We had a total of five weeks of camp with each week serving a different age group.  Our camps started in June and ran until the end of July providing a camp experience for over 45 campers, some of which this was the first time ever to go CAMP!!!   All of this would of never of happened without our dedicated volunteers, over 65 volunteers gave up a part of their summer to help our campers have a great time socializing, trying new things and most importantly having FUN!!!

 

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored a camper, who volunteered to give our participants this camp experience, and to the community relationships we have built with the organizations that gave us free/discounted admission! Below are statements made my parents/friends/camp counselors about how this Summer Camp experience has impacted our wonderful kiddos!

 

**One of our campers has never been without a family member or cap worker and hesitated on coming to camp. After she was greeted by one of our volunteers who talked about Frozen her favorite movie she connected with her and joined our circle.

**A parent told us before her daughter went to sleep every night she would say CAMP tomorrow right?

**Last week we had a camper that would not communicate on the first day and wasn’t too fond of smiling! The minute he went on the paddle boats at Bond Park he started to smile and by the next day he was singing our camp songs.

**One of our campers dad said that before bed every night his son would get his things ready for camp (which he has never done before) and would wake up at 6am thinking he could leave early for camp.

 

There are not enough words to thank our camp directors, volunteers, and community for helping make this experience possible. We have seen such growth, joy, confidence and independence in our campers. We are eagerly planning for summer 2018!! #strongertogether

GiGi Prep Restaurant week was MAGICAL!

What happens when you combine 9 joy filled GiGi’s Playhouse adults, road trips, new restaurants and new learning? MAGIC!   June’s adult summer program week, Restaurant Week, was nothing short of magical.  It contained huge amounts of laughter, learning and fun, and all who participated cannot wait to do it all again. Restaurant Week was designed… Continue Reading

Potty Training

Check out the link below with a thorough explanation of tips/tricks you can use for potty training. Potty training and Down syndrome Rose Reif is a private practice counselor based in Cary, North Carolina. She offers in-home counseling to kids, adults, and families affected by disabilities.Rose is passionate about helping people with disabilities and their… Continue Reading

I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D

I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D

Inspired.   Isn’t this the way it always happens? You volunteer for a job thinking you are helping but in the end you are the one left inspired and blessed more by the experience. Why do I always forget that when my heart is pulled to get involved but my head says you can’t possibly?… Continue Reading

not unlike a caterpillar becoming a butterfly

not unlike a caterpillar becoming a butterfly

Volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse has been a godsend to me. Each and every time, I witness what I would call a small miracle of some sort. For an individual child or adult, the sum total of these small miracles results in a true metamorphosis, not unlike a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Thank you, GiGi’s Playhouse!… Continue Reading

Literacy tutoring at GiGis

Literacy tutoring at GiGis

Since starting the literacy program at GiGi’s, Scott’s interest in reading has definitely sparked again.  I was thrilled and amazed to see him take one of his library books and get on the sofa to begin reading aloud to himself. Simply for the pleasure of reading with no prompting from me!  I had to take… Continue Reading

What does GiGis mean to me, Joy!

When asked “What does being a volunteer at GiGi’s Playhouse mean to me?” my response has to be “Joy”.  If I were to create a visual representation of this, it would be a photo collage.  Framed in the middle would be an image of a toddler laughing as she participates in the LMNOP program. A… Continue Reading