The Laurel Foundation funded the Zajak Ranch for Children Family Camp to address the lack of recreational services for children and youth in Vancouver with Autism by providing enriching, meaningful and accessible programming during COVID-19. The program created memorable experiences that empowered campers across the Autism Spectrum to participate, develop life-long skills, build independence, and have fun, with the ultimate aim of improving their overall mental health and wellbeing.
With COVID-19 posing significant challenges to in-person activities, many camps had to shut down or switch to virtual programming. Zajac Ranch was one of the few summer camps for children with disabilities and medical conditions in BC to adapt to a cohort-based model that allowed them to remain open and physically welcome campers onsite in a COVID-safe manner. Zajac Ranch created innovative and accessible ways for children with Autism and other complex needs to be able to participate in “adventure experiences.”