Structures for Success
During the summer months between academic calendar years, students face a transition generally associated with waning support structures and fewer guidelines and limits. For children at the Wediko Summer Program, the summer is highly structured and supported. The Wediko Summer Program offers a 1:2 staff to student ratio on our 450-acre waterfront campus, placing great emphasis on fun activities, summer schooling, and social-emotional learning. With over 45 days of residential programming with the positive feelings of camp, students engage in a structured, clinical milieu that expands existing strengths into more robust capacities and simultaneously stimulates new interests.
Students have the benefit of clinicians who work with them every day “in-the-moment,” within the context of daily life.
Wediko Summer Program staff and clinicians (including the Program Director) live on campus and are embedded within the milieu. While the daily schedule is structured much like a summer camp – with traditional activities such as swimming, art, athletics, theatre, and canoeing – students also participate in daily therapeutic groups, led by live-in clinicians, and ten hours of classroom academics per week.
Therapeutic Cabin Groups
Each child’s cabin group is formed with intentionality and designed to replicate an extended family system, offering a never ending stream of corrective interaction experiences.
Placed by clinicians based on age, developmental level, and emotional maturity, each cabin group consists of approximately eight students. Wediko structures social situations emphasizing individual skill development and interpersonal competencies, which envelop each child’s experience. Social learning occurs through modeling, feedback, reinforcement, and reciprocal learning in small and larger group functions.
Wediko’s students engage in 16 different fun-filled activities throughout the summer, supported by trained staff and curricula that outline both concrete mastery-based learning objectives and social-emotional skills needed to succeed.
Activities include: yoga, archery, fishing, music, athletics, brain games, canoeing, dance, tennis, art, kayaking, mountain biking, swimming, nature, theater, and creative writing. Through the exploration of and participation in this wide range of activity options, students are immersed in experiential learning; trying, struggling, trying again, and succeeding in a variety of environments, fostering confidence and a sense of mastery.
Wediko’s Pre-Vocational Program provides a structured and supportive work environment for students (13-19) to develop job skills and behaviors to prepare them for successful community employment.
With opportunities in food prep, tutoring, dishwashing, laundry duty, activity facilitation, camp clean-up and more, students develop the “soft skills” required to be a responsible employee. Students practice time management, communicating with supervisors and co-workers, self-advocacy, and teamwork – all while getting paid for their effort!
Cognitive Behavioral Checklists
A cornerstone of the Wediko Summer Program is the structured interviews prompting students to reflect upon their behavior.
Conducted three times daily, the Cognitive Behavioral Checklist engages students in co-rating their actions on five desired behaviors. Through this rating system, students and staff move from retrospective evaluation of past behavior to creating an action plan for positive change. This approach empowers students as problem-solvers, lending the perspective that children have the opportunity to partner with adults in making choices moving forward.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Wediko Summer Program utilizes a structured system of positive behavior support across all aspects of the program.
Wediko’s staff introduces, models, and reinforces positive social behavior through the summer experience and defines clear and consistent language and expectations around those behaviors. The purpose of program-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which expected, positive behaviors are the norm, which is internalized by students at Wediko and applicable beyond the summer experience.
Wediko Summer Program students participate in daily classroom-based academics (M-F), as well as limitless exploration of our ecologically rich campus.
The goal is to provide students the opportunity to practice social-emotional learning skills in a classroom setting. The Wediko Summer Program teachers lead classes in science-enriched mathematics and literacy. Wediko’s educators understand the importance of flexibility and patience in education; they will go the distance to ensure each student understands and can walk away from the lesson, not giving up, but with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to return the next day.
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
Wediko staff are trained collectively in helping students to build emotion regulation and de-escalation skills.
As part of this education, all staff members are certified in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, applying verbal and physical methods for preventing and managing disruptive behavior and physical aggression. This universal method of research-supported intervention creates an environment where expectations are clear and fair, student voices are heard, and individualized solutions can mitigate complex problems.
Family Systems Approach
Wediko’s philosophy is simple: family are the most important people in a student’s life and family success is critical for long-term child outcomes.
Wediko’s family-centered philosophy begins with a focus on joining with families during the initial contact, particularly with a comprehensive family interview process. Once at the Wediko Summer Program, students have contact with their family and community through weekly phone calls home facilitated by their cabin group Clinical Supervisor.
The Wediko Summer Program includes a Family Program facilitated by clinicians who provide individualized support using psychoeducational and practical approaches to engage with parents and build skills. The Family Program consists of weekly webinars with corresponding homework, weekly facilitated parent support groups, and weekly individualized sessions. Once children return home from Wediko Summer Program, Wediko maintains family contacts by phone, mail, and email to follow up on progress, debrief experiences, and problem solve transition challenges.
With thoughtful program structures and personalized supports, Wediko Summer Program is designed to ensure a comprehensive approach to each child’s needs, fostering greater competency and responsibility while stimulating each child’s personal and social development.