MINI-CAMPS / SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS

Mini-Camps Summer 2024: SRC invites your child to join a Social Skills Group!

Groups practice Social Thinking curriculum skills through engaging play-based activities:

These activities create a space where mistakes are welcome and trying out new strategies is celebrated. Through this “social laboratory” framework, laughter is the fuel that allows group members to bond over shared challenges and increase their self-awareness. Group members leave the group knowing that they have the ability to experience authentic friendships while facing anxiety, peer conflicts, and neurodivergent thinking. 

Below, you will see more information on specific group formats that SRC facilitators use seasonally, as well as groups available for registration in our upcoming season (Summer 2024). Please use this information when selecting groups you are interested in for your child on the sign-up link.

If you are brand new to Sasco River Center, please contact Christi Zacarola with your child’s name, date of birth, address, and your contact information to get started.

Our summer groups are being offered the weeks of: 6.17, 6.24, and 7.8

Please click the link below to select the group(s) that work for you:

 

About the Group Programming Coordinator: Moriah Smith-Bresky, MA, Psy.D, has cultivated the above format after training at Chicago’s SociAbility program, a PEERS based program using improvisational exercises to support client’s social development. Prior to her clinical psychology training, Moriah obtained a BA in Theatrical Design and focused on children’s theatre; she also taught creative writing classes for young adults on the Autism Spectrum. She recently completed her Post-Doctoral training at SRC and is in the process of obtaining licensure. Moriah trains and supports group facilitators; she facilitates several groups with support from our trainees.

Group and Mini-Camp Formats:

Creative Collaborations: Art therapy focuses on the process and meaning of our expressions, rather than a focus on creating a perfect final product. In a time when human connection is needed more than ever, members can create meaningful pieces in a nurturing group and experience positive peer support. Activities will include individual, paired, and small group exercises to maximize each member’s growth. This group will also have the opportunity to contribute to our community through activities led by creative education specialist Kathy Kravec, MA. By the end of the session, participants will not only have gained valuable skills and knowledge but also developed a sense of empathy, responsibility and purpose.

Play-in-a-week: Collaborative activities have been shown to increase camaraderie, empathy, and willingness to be flexible with ideas and goals. For this Partial-day or Full-day camp (depending on members’ availability), group members will be led through creative writing activities, consider elements of design, and apply Social Thinking skills to the process of creating and performing a short play for their caregivers at the end of the week. Moriah has previously led similar camps or workshops at Horizons Theater (Norristown, PA) and SociAbility (Chicago, IL). Ideal ages: 8-12 years

What’s your GAME?: This group will use board games and party games as a means to develop friendship skills such as conversation tools, reading subtle social cues, and considering context or the “group plan.” These Social Thinking skills are taught in brief collaborative lessons at each meeting. Games are chosen and played according to the “GAME! Night” group format developed by Clinical Psychologist, Patrick O’Connor (IL). Several similar groups have been facilitated at SRC this year. Members are grouped in 2-year age ranges and multiple groups will be formed if enough participants apply; this format is ideal for 8-22 year olds.

Social Superheroes: Group members will focus on identifying their social-emotional strengths and challenges: just like superheroes, we all have our kryptonite! Through developing their own superhero characters and problem solving team missions, members will courageously balance independent actions with seeking support from their fellow superheroes. Members will practice communication skills such as two-way conversation, listening, and noticing others’ body language. This game-focused format parallels real-life social situations where we need to have a keen awareness of our contextual environment and respond to in-the-moment changes with ease.

Emerging Leaders through Service: Do you want to make a difference in our community? Emerging Leaders sessions will focus on service initiatives decided upon and designed by the student group, creating an action plan to bring ideas to fruition. Projects may include designing inspirational cards and garden stones, preparing care packages, generating food or clothing collections —- the opportunities are endless.  Kathy Kravec, Learning and Life Coach, brings over a decade of experience leading similar groups in service learning activities. Join us for an inspiring and impactful summer experience where we can make a difference while having fun! By the end of the session, participants will not only have gained valuable skills and knowledge but also developed a sense of empathy, responsibility and purpose. Ideal ages: 10 and older.

Art for young worriers/warriors: This group will create therapeutic art while exploring their worries and fears. Participants will learn about why their brain might be scaring them and how to tell fear that they are in charge. A variety of art materials will be used to connect with emotions and transform them with each participant’s superpower. Loren Rubino, ATR, LPCA is an art therapist and associate licensed professional counselor who has created a method of combining cognitive behavioral therapy techniques with art to help children of all ages take control of their worries and fears.

Workable Wellness: The pressures of school, achievement, and social relationships can stress our bodies and minds. Meet with our EF coach Jenai Fitzpatrick, with a background in school psychology & nutrition, and OT Allie Muzzio with background in pediatric yoga and mindfulness, for a break from the pressure. Allie, Jenai, and guest facilitators will guide teens and preteens in reflecting on the challenges they’ve faced over the past year, while equipping them with essential self-awareness skills to navigate the upcoming school year with greater ease. Together, in fostering a warm and supportive community atmosphere, they will help participants in finding a sense of balance and harmony. This week promises to be a unique blend of physical wellness and personal empowerment, tailored to empower them to thrive. 

“Perfect is boring”: Improvisational theatre, or Improv, values trial and error learning, having a “group focus,” and flexible thinking. These skills are invaluable for real-life social situations where we need to have a keen awareness of our contextual environment and respond to in-the-moment changes with ease. This playful format makes practicing communication skills such as two-way conversation, listening, and body language easy and fun! Students gain confidence in their ability to “read the room” and “roll with it.” Appropriate for ages 6-22