(Building Lifestyles for Ongoing Opportunities & Movement) Ages 13-21
The Woodlands BLOOM Transition Program is a weeklong, overnight summer camp, or year-round transition day program. BLOOM operates as a transitional bridge between school programs and the experiences of adult life. In collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, The Woodlands launched BLOOM to help support post-school outcomes in the areas of education, employment, independent living, and health and wellness.
Reverse inclusion connects adolescents with special needs and typically developing peers to interact in natural, engaging and enriching ways. These peer couplings partake in recreational activities and role modeling which helps participants with special needs improve communication and social skills. The typically developing peers learn to combat stereotypes, embrace diversity and respect those who have challenges outside of their own experiences. It’s a true win-win!
Whereas Club BLOOM is a bi-weekly gathering during the academic year, Camp Bloom is a one-week residential experience. Choose from different themes focusing on leadership, empowerment, health and wellness, and self-efficacy. Participants have the chance to practice social skills, communication and peer interaction through team building, adapted physical activity, recreation and nutrition. Many activities are also designed for participants to lead or instruct the weekend retreat activities or host events. Each season, the BLOOM group also participates in a community integration activity or community outing.
Participants can expect to:
- Acquire social skills: develop social skills necessary to nurture relationships through inclusive recreation opportunities.
- Improve attitudes: Joint participation in activities foster positive attitudes about diverse circumstances.
- Develop life-long skills: hands-on, functional recreation and life skills are exercised.
- Enhanced self-image: confidence is boosted through inclusive participation vs. segregated participation.
- Increase understanding – greater appreciation for and acceptance of individuals of varying backgrounds and abilities.
Special activities for this camp:
- Creating team t-shirts
- Team building
- Guest speakers on empowerment and self-advocacy
- Dance and movement games
- Pittsburgh scavenger hunt*
*All participants must be willing, able and available to attend the Pittsburgh scavenger hunt safely, as determined by The Woodlands program management, in order to be accepted into the BLOOM summer camp program.
The following criteria will enable participants to be successful in BLOOM:
- Able to make choices independently
- Able to occupy oneself with an independent activity for 30 minutes
- Engage appropriately in conversations with adults and peers
- Communicate expressively and receptively in a classroom-type setting
- Self-advocate need for further instructions, clarification, and additional assistance when needed
- Independently care for own personal needs such as toileting, hygiene and self-feeding
- Behave appropriately in community settings
- Be independently mobile
- Communicate personal information such as name, age, address, parents’ names, phone number, etc.