Wednesday, May 29, 2013

iPads and their Advantages to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

The iPad as many of you already know, is the electronic 'must have' in today's trending society.  The iPad is a multipurpose and dynamic tablet that allows you to take pictures, shoot video, browse the web, download and use apps, play music, and much more.  A question that we wanted to know was: Do they have a place for helping individuals with developmental disabilities?  Of course they do!  They provide many advantages to helping individuals with developmental disabilities.  After much investigating and researching, we found what we thought to be some of the important advantages to using iPads with individuals that have developmental disabilities.

1. Intuition comes into play
If there is a lack of motor skills, the ability to touch rather than run a mouse or keyboard is much more intuitive. Individuals with developmental disabilities do not hesitate as much to use iPads and pick up what to do very quickly with their own intuition.

2. Can be used as a way to communicate
There are many applications that can be used for individuals to communicate what they want or are thinking. There are touch-to-speak apps, as well as simple Yes/No apps to voice preferences.

3. Motivates and engages
When an iPad is touched or swiped there is an instant outcome for the controller to see. This gives instant gratification and prompts the individual to keep going, because they can see what they are doing and what happens when they do something instantly. The iPad is a direct cause and effect for users, which makes this piece of technology inviting to any user.

4. Helps to learn social skills
Many times an individual will want to show someone what they are doing on the iPad. If they are interacting with others to show or demonstrate what they are doing they are furthering their social skills immensely.

5. Can be used as a therapeutic device
Many therapists are now using iPads as a way to get individuals with developmental disabilities to further their abilities or strengthen them. In one case a physical therapist was having trouble getting a patient with Down syndrome to be active. The iPad was set on the treadmill for the patient to use while walking and the patient was motivated to walk on the treadmill.

6. Aids with cognitive disabilities
Various activities on the iPad can help users to develop receptive language skills. Some individuals may never be able to speak, verbally or signing, so the ability to understand language is important. What is even more important is their ability to understand picture symbols. With the use of the iPad there are a plethora of applications that have images that, when touched, can make the sound of the image being touched (i.e. a picture of a dog and when touched, it barks).

7. Specialized applications
There are many applications to download on iPads geared specifically to individuals with developmental disabilities. There are memory practice applications, behavior related applications, social skill applications, music – visual – art applications, communication – speech – language applications, and many more.  This is a fun and interactive way for individuals to learn and strengthen their abilities with the use of a fun piece of technology.

In addition to our research there are plenty of people out there who see the iPads advantages to individuals with developmental disabilities.  The principal of P.G. Chambers in New Jersey noticed a change in one of their students after using an iPad in school, “She used to get very frustrated.  I’ve seen a difference.  The impact is incredible.”

In another story we read there is a boy who, because of many disabilities, has been unable to communicate his whole life.  He can read, write and hear, but never had the ability to have a conversation.  When his school received a grant, the special education teachers purchased iPads for their students and was the first time the young man was able to communicate or get his thoughts out.  When he received the gift he typed on the iPad and the iPad spoke two words, "Thank you." His grandmother, who raised him, had never heard her grandson's thoughts until that day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meet Ashley Davis - Summer Intern for Wisconsin Badger Camp

Get to Know Ashley


Hello! My name is Ashley Davis and I am one of two interns this summer for Wisconsin Badger Camp.  I am from Monticello, Iowa and currently am a senior attending UW-Platteville.  I am a Media Studies major with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in English.  I am so excited to have this opportunity to work with Badger Camp.

I love what this camp is and does.  I really like that it gives all ages of individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to go to summer camp; campers get to do so many recreational activities and get the chance to meet new friends and interact with so many people.  I also really like that no one is turned away because of age, severity of disability, or financial situation.

I am so excited for what this summer has to offer me!  I am ecstatic about getting to interact with campers, write press releases, keep all of Badger Camps social media sites up-to-date, and to learn from everyone that I work with.  I know that I have a lot to offer Wisconsin Badger Camp, but I know that I will learn just as much in return.

Without the help of Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement's (PACCE) Internship program I would not have been able to do this internship.  Thank you to PACCE for allowing me to get paid for this internship.

Pictured above: Ashley Davis


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

11th Annual State Employee Golf Outing

11th Annual State Employee Golf Outing

Wisconsin Badger Camp held its annual state employee golf outing on Monday, May 20th.  The rain held off and proved to be a beautiful day with a fun filled afternoon of golf, door prizes, games, and a silent auction.

The event had around 30 participants and raised $1,800 for Wisconsin Badger Camp!  We also had 14 of our 18 holes sponsored, so that was great!  A huge thank you to all of our sponsors!  We look forward to another great state employee golf outing next year, too.

The 2013 camp season is almost here; it begins on June 9th and goes through August 16th.  We are looking forward to a great summer!  We welcome anyone interested in volunteering or to come up for a tour.  For more information, please call (608) 348-9689 or visit our website at

One of our participating groups

Another group that participated

Even one of our summer interns joined in on the fun!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wendy Garrity Scholarship Supports Wisconsin Badger Camp

Wendy Garrity Scholarship Supports Wisconsin Badger Camp

Wisconsin Badger Camp is the proud recipient of the $200 Wendy Garrity Scholarship. The scholarship will financially support individuals with developmental disabilities from the Prairie Du Chien area who attend Wisconsin Badger Camp.

The Prairie Education Association started this scholarship in memory of Wendy Garrity. “Wendy was a co-worker, friend and union member in the Prairie Du Chien School District for many years,” fourth grade teacher Rita Breuer said.

“We are very grateful that the Prairie Education Association has chosen Badger Camp as a recipient of this scholarship, and excited to work with the Prairie Education for many years to come” Wisconsin Badger Camp Development/ Communication Director Kayla Smith said. “This scholarship will give an individual the opportunity to experience swimming, hiking, camping, and friends that last a lifetime at Wisconsin Badger Camp this summer,” Smith said.

Wisconsin Badger Camp is an independent nonprofit organization located approximately 10 miles south of Prairie du Chien and serves approximately 900 individuals with developmental disabilities each summer. Badger Camp relies on the community’s time, talent, and financial assistance to provide for its campers. Camp starts June 9 and runs through August 16.  If you or someone else you know would like more information on how to make a donation or tour information please call Wisconsin Badger Camp at (608) 348-9689 or visit our website at:

Pictured from left to right: Rita Breuer, current co-president of the PEA, Development/Communications Director Kayla Smith and current treasurer of the PEA, Chris Mezera

Marjorie L. Christiansen Foundation Supports Wisconsin Badger Camp

Marjorie L. Christiansen Foundation Supports Wisconsin Badger Camp

Wisconsin Badger Camp is the proud recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Marjorie L. Christiansen Foundation.  This grant will be used to provide Camperships to campers in the area that are on strict or limited incomes. With the help of the Marjorie L. Christiansen Foundation, Wisconsin Badger Camp was able to serve 900 individuals last year regardless of the severity of their disability or ability to pay the requested camp fee.

 By providing outdoor recreational experiences such as fishing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, canoeing, and arts & crafts, Wisconsin Badger Camp brings the tradition of outdoor recreational experiences to people of any ability or age regardless of one’s financial situation. 

 “It costs over $800 to host a camper for one week at camp, though we only request a fee of $600. The Marjorie L. Christiansen Foundation has provided us with a grant to help individuals come to camp regardless of their financial situation,” Wisconsin Badger Camp Development Director, Kayla Smith said. “The continued support of the Marjorie L. Christiansen has been instrumental in continuing our Campership Program and we are extremely grateful for their support,” Smith said. 

Wisconsin Badger Camp is an independent nonprofit organization located approximately 10 miles south of Prairie du Chien and serves approximately 900 individuals with developmental disabilities each summer. Badger Camp relies on the community’s time, talent, and financial assistance to provide for its campers. Camp starts June 9 and runs through August 16.  If you or someone else you know would like more information on how to make a donation or tour information please call Wisconsin Badger Camp at (608) 348-9689 or visit our website at:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Anna's time at Badger Camp

Anna Strasser's time as an intern

Hi Wisconsin Badger Camp family and friends! As you all may know I have been interning with Badger Camp for this past spring semester.  I had the opportunity to complete my Public Relations Internship. I would like to tell you about  my experiences and opportunities that this internship provided me!
I first want to talk about what my role was as an intern. My time here consisted of working on Badger Camp’s social media sites; Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and (their newest form of social media), Pinterest. I kept their social media fun, interesting and current. I also created a few brochures and flyers for camp to help grow awareness for upcoming events that Badger Camp was having.
I knew how to use Word and Excel already coming into the internship, but I also was able to gain experience in Publisher as well. Other tasks included making phone calls, updating camper applications, and volunteering. 
I enjoyed being able to help plan for the events as well as run the events. I had so much fun volunteering for the 26th Annual Valentines Party, Christmas Telethon, Halloween Party, Spring Spruce Up and the upcoming Garage Sale. Helping with whatever I can is a great feeling and the things they do for people are outstanding. I am so blessed and gracious to have had this opportunity to work and grow from such wonderful and caring people.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who helped me get started at Wisconsin Badger Camp. It was a great opportunity that pushed me to my full potential. I had the greatest experience here at Badger camp and was able to learn a lot of new things through the process. I learned how to be a better writer, communicate with others, plan events and the importance of volunteering. Working in the nonprofit sector is one that will last a lifetime! Thank you again, to everyone at Wisconsin Badger Camp for giving me the experience of a lifetimeJ
                                       Anna Strasser

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Camp starts in 39 days!!!

What’s your favorite part about coming to Badger Camp? 

Today we are highlighting Badger Olympics!  

Below you will find pictures of our campers enjoying all the festivities that Badger Olympics has to offer! 

From creating a team name and flag to obstacle courses and relay races, Badger Olympics provides all sorts of excitement on Wednesday nights! 

                   Come up to camp this summer and see for yourself!

Come check it out for yourself:)