Alberta Aphasia Camp

group photo 2022

 Photo: Alberta Aphasia Camp 2022 - Gull Lake, Alberta.

 

Alberta Aphasia Camp 2022 was a HUGE success!  It was great to see everyone again IN-PERSON!

Our video will be posted soon so you will be able to see what we did during the weekend.

 

Please join us for our 10th annual Alberta Aphasia Camp (September 15 -17, 2023).

More information, and registration forms, will be available in May 2023.

 

Aphasia is an acquired language disorder, most often caused by stroke or brain injury.

It can affect the ability to speak, understand, read and write.

The Alberta Aphasia Camp is a weekend-long camp held every September.

The camp provides an opportunity for individuals who are living with aphasia to enjoy a weekend retreat, along with one or two family members/friends.

Activities are both recreational and therapeutic.

The staff and volunteers are speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and recreational therapists. All educated about aphasia and support communication techniques, as well as safety and mobility.


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I get registered for the camp?
  • Registration opens each year a few months before camp starts - usually in May.
  • Registration forms are digital and can be filled out online.
  • There is typically an early bird registration deadline (end of June) and a final registration deadline (end of July)
How much does it cost to attend Alberta Aphasia Camp?
  • The cost is approximately $200. This covers food, accommodations and all programming throughout the weekend.
  • If you are unable to attend due to cost, please contact us to discuss options for subsidy.
Where is the camp located?
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?
  • In the past few years, Gull Lake Centre has undergone some renovations, making it more accessible to people with mobility issues.
  • The roads and trails consist of concrete sidewalks and gravel. However, we have volunteers who are able to push wheelchairs if a 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.
  • There are wheelchair accessible washroom stalls in the main lodge, meeting rooms and cabins. The showers have lips on them, and are not all wheelchair accessible.
  • Most camp activities are accessible to people who are in wheelchairs. We do our best to make some minor modifications to make these more accessible.
Can I bring someone with me?
  • Yes! All campers with aphasia can bring family members and/or 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.
  • However, we have no support staff on site, so if you require assistance for these types of things, you should attend with a family member, friend or caregiver
Can young children attend the Alberta Aphasia Camp?
  • We recognize that people with aphasia are mothers and fathers of young children too. 
  • Although in many cases, it may be easier for you to enjoy the camp activities if you do not have to care for children while at the camp, we are happy to accommodate your individual family needs
How many people will there be at Alberta Aphasia Camp?
  • We have room for 80 - 100 campers (this includes people with aphasia and their family members/friends). 
  • In addition, we have 5 - 10 professionals who are registered SLPs, OTs and PTs and there are approximately 25 student volunteers that are training to be SLP, OT and PTs.
What is the weather like at that time of year?
  • Average high temperatures in September can vary between 15-20 degrees Celsius, with average low temperatures between 5-10 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.
What are the sleeping accommodations at camp?
  • All of our accommodations are shared (max. 8 - 10 people) and have bunk beds.
  • You will be placed in a cabin with your friend/family unless you indicate otherwise.
  • Most cabins will have mixed genders.  However, we do reserve a few for females only and for males only.
  • Preference for bottom bunks can be indicated on the application form. 
  • Bedding is not provided, so campers should come prepared with bedding (sleeping bags or sheets/blankets and pillows).
  • All cabins have their own private washroom.
What kind of activities are there to do at the Alberta Aphasia Camp?

We have multiple activities to choose from throughout the weekend. Activities are recreational, therapeutic and self care. All activities are modified to ensure you can attend anything you are interested in, no matter what your communication or physical ability. Examples of activities:

  1. Yoga
  2. Painting
  3. Singing
  4. Low ropes
  5. Archery
  6. Canoe / Kayak
  7. Hiking
  8. Communication Groups
  9. Movie and discussion
  10. Baking / Cooking
  11. And more!
What is a typical schedule?
  • Camp starts at 6:30 PM on Friday
  • Camp ends at 2:30 PM on Sunday
  • We will send you the weekend schedule in August.
  • You will have the chance to sign up for activities throughout the weekend when you arrive at camp.
  • Here is an example schedule of the camp weekend
How do I get in contact with the Alberta Aphasia Camp organizers?

Get involved in the Alberta Aphasia Camp

Volunteers

Students interested in volunteering: All our student volunteers (SLP, OT, PT, RecT) are from the University of Alberta, most of which are in their second year in the Faculty of Rehab Medicine. 

Community therapists interested in volunteering: We will often take one or two community therapists (SLP, OT, PT, RecT) each year and try to have different therapists involved each year. If you are interested, please contact Andrea Ruelling, SLP, Alberta Aphasia Camp co-director (ruelling@ualberta.ca)


Financial Support

Financial support: You can also support the Alberta Aphasia Camp financially by making a donation to March of Dimes Canada. Please contact Alena Widdup by email (awiddup@marchofdimes.ca) or by phone (403-690-8246).


 

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