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All the children of Camp C.A.N.O.E. are children with autism. In fact, the word “C.A.N.O.E” is an acronym for (Children with Autism Need Outdoor Experiences).

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“Autism, according to the Autism Society “is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.”

In addition, according to the Autism Society, “Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” (Autism Spectrum Disorder or (ASD), that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.”

The term “spectrum” according to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) “Refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled.”

In March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued their Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States and almost 1 in 54 boys. The spotlight shown on autism as a result of the prevalence increase opens opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve these families facing a lifetime of supports for their children.

There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

For example, “The Autism Society estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million.

Camp C.A.N.O.E. is open to children with autism from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. It is a summer day camp designed specifically for children with autism and other abilities.

Camp C.A.N.O.E. is located at Camp DaKaNi, a beautiful 33-acre wooded campground in Oklahoma City. A program called Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma (Camp Fire USA) has owned and operated both camps for more than fifty years.

The mission of Camp Fire USA and Camp C.A.N.O.E., according to their website, “Is to build caring, confident youth and future leaders.” To accomplish these goals, counselors at Camp C.A.N.O.E. “Offer a variety of outdoor activities to enhance the development of social, motor, and sensory processing skills.” Most important, “The safety of campers is a top priority.”

In addition, “Every counselor will have an assistant counselor and a maximum of only five campers. All counselors have received standardized camp training plus specialized Camp C.A.N.O.E. education.”

Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma is the home of adventure learning and character development for thousands of young men and women for almost ninety years! As a national organization, we are more than 101 years old.

Camp DaKaNi, means “a day in the out-of-doors. As previously stated It is owned and operated by Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma and located on 33 wooded acres in the heart of Oklahoma City.

Camp Fire camping gives young people a chance to learn how to live and share with others and to become closely involved with the natural environment. The well-being and safety of campers is our first concern.

Camp DaKaNi, in its 57th year as a day camp, is open to all boys and girls, ages 5-18, regardless of race, gender, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disabilities* or economic status. Campers do not have to be members of Camp Fire.

*Camp DaKaNi programs are available to persons with disabilities. We will make every effort to meet the needs of all those who wish to apply.

Some of the stated “Benefits of Camp C.A.N.O.E.” include:

  • Team-Building Skills
  • Self-Reliance
  • Confidence
  • Communication & Social Skills
  • Problem-Solving
  • Independent Thinking
  • Physical Activity
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skill Development

For more information, please contact:

Penn Henthorn, Director, Camp C.A.N.O.E.:

(405) 254-2080

Information on ASD can also be found on the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website .


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