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Appalachian State’s day camp for kids with autism is now accepting applications

Camp counselor with a camper in 2023 at Camp Crinkleroot in Boone.
Courtesy of Mary Sheryl Horine
Camp counselor with a camper in 2023 at Camp Crinkleroot in Boone.

A free day-camp in Boone for children ages eight to 14 on the autism spectrum is now accepting applications for the spring.

Camp Crinkleroot is offered through Appalachian State University's Institute for Health and Wellness. The camp is staffed by trained student volunteers. Camp Crinkleroot is offered twice a year, once in the spring and fall semesters.

“It was created over 13 years ago by social worker students from another degree program at Appalachian State,” said Mary Sheryl Horine, the Director of Outreach and Education at the Appalachian Institute for Health and Wellness.

This year's spring camp will offer recreational activities like kickball as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) arts and crafts.

“There are ten slots still available,” Horine said. “These kids are, you know, a lot of times isolated on the weekends, it's really a good, good outlet for them to meet other kids on the autism spectrum.”

She said children who have similar disorders are welcome as well, and they can bring their siblings.

“Typically, that means a kid who has a diagnosis of ADHD, they might have speech or language delays for other reasons outside of autism, and so that would count,” said Horine.

Camp Crinkleroot will be held April 12-14 at the Optimist Clubhouse in Boone. It’s open to kids across North Carolina, and bordering states, like Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. To learn more, visit App State's website.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.
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