Tikvah is a division of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin developed in 1973 to provide inclusion opportunities for children with learning, social and communication difficulties, including those who are higher functioning on the Autistic Spectrum. Machon campers (entering 10th grade) and Tikvah campers enjoy a close partnership. They perform together in campwide festivals and present a Broadway musical together. A popular component of the Machon-Tikvah partnership is the one-on-one chaverim (buddy) program. Buddies spend structured and unstructured time together every week and lasting friendships are formed.
We met up with two chaverim this summer on the kikar. Here’s what they had to say:
“The chaverim program is an amazing experience and an opportunity to get to know campers you wouldn’t typically meet. Being a chaver taught me so much about myself. The bond I made with my buddy had a big impact on both of us – we both learned so many new skills.”
“My favorite things to do with my chaver are playing games, swimming, taking walks around camp and reading books together. I also like when we sit together at Shabbat tefillot (prayer).”
We know both chaverim are counting the days (113) until they meet again at camp!