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Students Share Inclusive Camp Experience at Sly Park

STAR Camp Connects Students with Outdoor Education Opportunities

Students being pushed in wheelchairs on forest path

Eight Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students and their families recently participated in the 3rd annual STAR (SCOE Technology and Recreation) Camp at the Sly Park Conservation and Environmental Education Center. STAR campers enjoyed numerous outdoor learning activities alongside students from Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School (Elk Grove Unified).

Over the May 5–7 weekend, STAR campers and Mary Tsukamoto Elementary students viewed constellations in Sly Park’s planetarium, learned history and culture in the Native American interpretive center, participated in arts and crafts projects, and interacted in group games. Students entertained each other around a campfire with skits and songs, and explored the accessible nature trail.

STAR Camp is a joint effort by the staff from Seeds of Partnership, the SCOE Special Education Department, and Sly Park, in partnership with Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School. The camp is an opportunity for students with severe disabilities from SCOE programs—many of whom access the MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) curriculum—to participate in the activities offered through Sly Park, together with peers from similar age groups. Through this inclusive camp weekend, campers learned about nature and the camping experience, and found that all students can make friends.

In addition to staff from Sly Park, STAR Camp was made possible by teachers, nurses, therapists, and others who regularly work with students with disabilities and their families. Equipment typically utilized by the students—such as gait trainers, adapted bikes, other mobility equipment, and assistive technology devices—are transported to Sly Park for use during the weekend. The high level of support and experienced staff enables students and their parents to have an educational weekend away from home, enjoying the great outdoors and engaging with their peers.

Student using assistive device holds a snake while adult looks on and smiles
Student using a wheelchair spins under a rainbow parachute held by standing students