For three weeks in June, Wilder offered a day camp opportunity for children living in Wilder's supportive housing programs. Seventeen youth ages eight to 13 experienced a half day camp experience that incorporates Yoga with a certified YogaCalm practitioner, social skills, art and design activities, basketball as life drills, discussion and cultural socialization, and outings to Vertical Endeavors and the Minnesota Arboretum. In speaking with some of the participants, one of the favorite activities was identifying unusual jelly bean flavors as well as learning to identify emotions and using breathing to relax.
For many of the families Wilder serves in supportive housing, resources and options are limited for how their children can participate in out of school activities. Wilder program staff collectively developed an innovative response that combines skills and resources from school-based mental health services and supportive housing programs. From June 10 to June 27, these formerly homeless or inconsistently housed children were exposed to mindfulness and expressive practice that is fun and of benefit to their personal growth and development.
A camp celebration for the families will took place at Wilder Center on Thursday, June 27 where the artwork, games and other skills developed were on display.