Culinary camp is an exciting time to learn and perfect one’s skills in the culinary arts. Campers get to experience different cultures by tasting a variety of dishes and flavors from various regions around the world. Here at SLU’s Gardens to Tables Culinary Camp, not only do we have a staff of energetic, competent, and fun-loving nutrition and dietetics students, but a unique aspect about our camp is that we have an occupational therapy (OT) student on staff as well.
Occupational therapy is the use of treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of patients with a physical, mental, or developmental conditions. Every Thursday morning, campers get introduced to the topic of disabilities and how to cope with them in their every day lives whether directly or indirectly. Occupational therapists assist individuals with various kinds of disabilities by utilizing creative methods and adaptive devices to help with activities such as brushing teeth, eating breakfast, and even gardening! Camp counselor and OT student, Morgan, shared valuable information on what it is like to use these methods and demonstrated how to use certain devices.
We were even visited by a special guest today named Daniel. He is a representative of Paraquad which is an organization that empowers people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity. Daniel is paralyzed from the waist down due to a car accident he was involved in over seven years ago. He uses a wheelchair to move around, work, and assist him with other daily activities. Daniel shared his insight on what it is like to live with his condition. One of the neat facts he shared with us is that although he is paralyzed, Daniel still is able to drive himself in a specially designed car where he uses a panel to steer, accelerate, and brake.
Overall the campers were able to experience what it is like to have various disabilities and use methods to assist them while working in the garden.