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UAlberta SLP Students Head to Oregon

October 24, 2013


This past August a group of three SLP students – Emily, Candice, and Liam – from the University of Alberta attended Aphasia Camp Northwest in Portland, Oregon as part of their capstone project. They were invited to attend this camp while they were researching different models for camps. Aphasia Camp Northwest has been in operation for 15 years, making it one of the longest-running camps of its kind in North America. With the assistance of funding from the university’s Green and Gold Grant, the three students were able to attend and learn the workings of a successful aphasia camp.

The camp involves building strategies for both the person with aphasia and their loved ones; there are outdoor and indoor recreational activities as well.


Liam taking part in a session

Candice meeting camp participants

Candice meeting camp participants

As Emily puts it, “I was expecting to spend the majority of my time playing the role of an observer in order to learn some of the logistical details that go into organizing and running a camp. However, from the minute I arrived, I was fully integrated into camp activities and had many of the same responsibilities as the student volunteers. This involved helping families get settled into camp, running recreational activities for the campers, such as gardening and fishing, interacting with campers during mealtime and helping to

facilitate conversation groups.”  It was also an opportunity for advanced disciplinary learning learning; Candice writes that they were “able to sit in at a professor-student meeting from a leadership point of view learn about how to explain some of the therapeutic activities and the rationale behind them”

Currently, Alberta doesn’t have a camp of this type. The input provided by the three students will help therapists and administrators in Alberta to plan and implement similar camps in the future.  They

Capturewere able to “gather important logistical information… share information about what activities have been was useful to hear about different ways this can be accomplished.” the most successful, how to organize and structure conversation groups and crucial points to consider when first starting a camp, but they also helped guide us in determining the overall goals for our own camp… we were also able to participate in a brainstorm about how to continue providing resources to those with aphasia once camp has ended. This is something we would like to do in Edmonton as well, so it

To learn more about Aphasia Camp Northwest, please visit

Special thanks to Emily, Candice, and Liam for their contributions.
Photos used with permission.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Judy permalink
    October 29, 2013 9:13 am

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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