Camp Jabiru® and Developmental FX
Summer camp, sleep away camp, adventure camp, friendship camp – call it what you will, but a camp experience often serves as a pivotal developmental moment for children. When a child struggles with their development, camp can be difficult to access due to the needed supports required to attempt such a huge milestone. And yet, these same children are likely to benefit significantly when the ‘just right’ camp experience can be accessed. This is the aim of Camp Jabiru® – and even loftier, Camp Jabiru® is an intensive, fun, therapeutic camp opportunity aimed to exquisitely meet each camper’s individual needs to allow them to benefit from this valued childhood experience.
Camp Jabiru® was started by Colleen Hacker of the Sensory Gym in Hobartville, NSW, Australia. This camp is dedicated to children who struggle with processing information and creates an intensive weeklong experience of living ‘therapy that fits‘ – YES, this is the DFX descriptor of what we provide, and we have brought our own special brand of intervention to Camp Jabiru, as the fidelity model of care was developed by our co-founder, Tracy Stackhouse.
Camp Jabiru is not only a camp for the 125 children who attend, but also a training camp that brings therapists together in a shared environment dedicated to enhancing clinical practice in several ways:
- University students training to become occupational therapists attend camp as interns and are exposed to excellence in clinical care, often inspiring these students to select a career focus in pediatric care.
- Practicing clinicians can opt to attend camp as a practicum, where daily didactic trainings as well as clinical dialogues accompany the immersion in the daily intensive treatment happening with and for the children, this practicum experience is co-run with Lynette Burke of the Sensory Gym and with DFX Executive Director, Tracy Stackhouse.
- All of the therapists who come to provide the intensive treatment for the children as group leaders.
The camp model is set up to establish intensive treatment that is goal focused and targeted to each individual child. The model that supports this is proprietary to Developmental FX – the SpIRiT model – and is now supporting a research effort at Camp Jabiru in collaboration with Dr. Shelly Lane at the University of Newcastle.
Additionally, the camp draws master clinicians. In 2019, Caroline Hui, Beth Osten and Sheila Frick were involved in clinical mentoring, and DFX’s Tracy Stackhouse, Juliana Padilla, Rachel Malmquist, and Kelsey Forbringer were able to serve in key roles. This April, Tracy will be returning as lead facilitator/mentor for the practicum program!
Our involvement at Camp Jabiru is wonderful way to address our mission – it allows us to not only impact the children directly involved in the camp each year, but also each of the 100 students and clinicians gain mastery over advanced treatment planning and implementation, taking this knowledge forward to each of their own caseloads and practices, the multiplier effect we seek to create is blooming beautifully via this collaboration Down Under!