Communication Sciences and Disorders

Alberta Aphasia Camp FAQ

How can I get registered for camp?

Application forms are available on this website to download. If you have questions, please contact Andrea Ruelling ruelling@ualberta.ca. The application forms are fillable documents, so you can either: email the completed forms, print and fax, or print and mail them along with your payment to the address listed on the form. You can also call Kim Smith at March of Dimes Canada (1-855-583-4637 OR 403-263-1946) or email at kasmith@marchofdimes.ca to pay with a credit card.

How much does it cost to attend Alberta Aphasia Camp?

We have tried to keep the cost of camp low, in order for it to be accessible for everyone. The cost is $150.00 (early bird until June 26, 2020) or $200.00 (until July 31, 2020) and this covers food, accommodations and all programming throughout the weekend.


Where is the camp located?

The camp is held at the Gull Lake Centre, located on Gull Lake, just west of Lacombe. This is approximately 1 ½ hours south of Edmonton and 2 hours north of Calgary

Link to Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/WiuSCwiRd472

Website: gulllakecentre.ca 


Do you provide transportation to and from the camp?

Unfortunately, we do not provide transportation to attend Alberta Aphasia Camp. However, we could potentially assist in putting you in touch with other campers in your area who may be able to offer a ride.


How accessible is the camp? Is it accessible to people in wheelchairs?
The camp itself is rustic and is not fully accessible. The roads and trails consist of concrete sidewalks, boardwalks and gravel, and can be uneven. However, we have volunteers who are able to push wheelchairs if the camper wants/needs this level of assistance. 
The main lodge is wheelchair accessible via a ramp that loops around the outside of the lodge. There is no elevator inside the lodge, so anyone wanting to access the lower level will need to use the outside ramp.


The showers have lips on them, and are not all wheelchair accessible; however, they do have a wheelchair accessible washroom stall and lower sinks for wheelchair access. 
Most activities are accessible to people who are in wheelchairs, but not all of them (i.e. hike, low ropes course), but we will have OTs and PTs on site to assist with some minor modifications to make some things more accessible. 


Can I bring someone with me?
Yes! Each camper with aphasia can attend with 1 or 2 family members/friends.


Do I have to bring someone with me?
No! If you are independent with things like dressing, toileting and grooming you do not need to bring anyone along. Because we have no support staff on site, if you do require assistance for these types of things, you should attend with a family member, friend or caregiver.


Can children attend the Alberta Aphasia Camp?
We recognize that people with aphasia are mothers and fathers too. Although in many cases, it may be easier for you and your family member/friend to focus on enjoying the camp activities if you do not have to be caring for children at the camp, please contact us if you have a special situation with a child.


How many people will there be at Alberta Aphasia Camp?
We have room for 80 campers (this includes people with aphasia and their family members/friends). In addition, there are approximately 30 leaders and volunteers (SLP, OT, PT and RecT) and 5 Gull Lake Camp staff.


What is the weather like at that time of year?
Average high temperatures around Gull Lake in September can vary between 10-20 degrees Celsius, with average low temperatures between 0-10 degrees C. We can expect anything from sun to rain. It is best to come prepared for the various weather conditions with layers and warm clothing, and a rain jacket and/or umbrella in case of rain. If it does rain, the grounds can get muddy. All outdoor shoes must be removed in the lodge and residences, so you may want to bring a pair of indoor shoes or slippers.


What are the sleeping accommodations at camp?
All accommodations at camp are shared. The cabins can sleep up to 10 people. Each cabin has its own washroom. There are bunk beds to sleep on. People with mobility issues can indicate this on the application form, and will get a bottom bunk. Bedding is not provided, so campers should bring their own bedding (sleeping bags, sheets, blankets, pillows).


What kind of activities are there to do at the Alberta Aphasia Camp?
There are a variety of activities for all abilities available at camp. Activities may vary from year to year. In the past we have offered the following activities: canoeing, guided hikes, low ropes/challenge course, yoga, drum circle, scavenger hunt, indoor games (e.g., cards, board games), outdoor games (e.g., bocce, ladder ball, croquet), and photography or art workshops. All activities can be adapted for individuals with physical challenges. In addition, we run conversation groups for people with aphasia, and therapeutic support groups for family members/friends, where we share stories and resources with each other.


How can I get involved in the Alberta Aphasia Camp? Can I volunteer for the camp?
We generally have more students and therapists volunteer for the camp than we can accommodate, but you can get involved in other ways. If you are a therapist who would like to refer someone to the camp, you can download a registration form here, or contact us for more information. You can also support the Alberta Aphasia Camp financially by making a donation to March of Dimes Canada here (choose “General” and “Alberta Aphasia Camp”).