Camp TREK: New Challenges, New Opportunities
By Kristin Doyle, Director of Communications, Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ)
Camp TREK (Together in Recreation, Exploration and Knowledge) is the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s (BIANJ) week-long residential social and recreational program for adults with brain injury. Since its inception over 20 years ago, Camp TREK has become a vital program of the BIANJ, providing a safe, understanding environment that fosters lifelong friendships, connections, and invaluable experiences. Campers take part in a range of activities such as art, dance, poetry, swimming, outdoor sports, and nature study. The week also affords much needed respite for caregivers who often provide 24-hour care during the rest of the year.
In 2020 and 2021, Camp TREK was held virtually for the safety of campers and staff. Participants were still able to see friendly faces, engage in art therapy, listen to the infamous Camp TREK band, and enjoy dance classes. Campers took virtual farm tours, sang karaoke, and still held their annual Talent Show. Virtual Camp TREK also allowed for 14 new campers to be a part of the experience, with one caregiver saying, “I was surprised at how involved my daughter became with the virtual camp experience—thank you!”
To be eligible for Camp TREK, applicants must reside in New Jersey, have a diagnosis of brain injury, and be over the age of 18. The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey is looking forward to hopefully hosting camp in person again in 2022. For updates and information, visit bianj.org.
Pictures used by permission of the Brain Injury Alliance of NJ