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Camp Yakety Yak

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services

Mission: Camp Yakety Yak (CYY) is a 501c3 organization that was created in 2010 by Angela Arterberry, Speech Pathologist, to help children with special needs (e.g., Autism, ADHD, Intellectual Disability) grow socially and emotionally by improving their communication skills. The camp's educational mission is twofold: 1) provide instruction in social & emotional skills to children with special needs & their siblings to support friendship development in a day camp setting and 2) provide an opportunity for future professionals in educational and therapeutic fields to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in working with children with special needs. Eighty percent of our staff members are students from local universities and high schools who receive 10-30 hours of training and ongoing supervision by our professional faculty.

Target demographics: Supporting social skill growth in children with special needs, ages 5-15. Siblings and peer models welcome!

Direct beneficiaries per year: 150 campers

Geographic areas served: Camp Yakety Yak is a therapeutic day camp located in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Programs: Our Professional Faculty consists of an Occupational Therapist, Special Education and Regular Education Teachers to offer a well-rounded learning experience. Our specialists have designed a camp for children with special needs based on years of experience, advanced training and research. The philosophy, curriculum and individualized support of Camp Yakety Yak is best suited for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Communication Disorder, ADHD, Mild Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injuries and more.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is our daughter's first year at Camp Yakety Yak and we are amazed at how much she has grown in such a short period of time. She went from having really hard transitions and acting out, to being able to fully participate safely at camp. For her to have this opportunity is simply amazing. The staff and volunteers are absolutely amazing and we are so thankful for their hard work and genuine care for our daughter. Without the generosity of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Foundation contribution, our daughter might not have gotten the chance to participate at camp and we will be forever grateful. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has attended Camp Yakety Yak for four years now, and has always enjoyed the experience. Camp Yakety Yak has helped him to grow, to learn, to interact with other children in a meaningful way, which helps him to deal with other children in other settings. Without Camp Yakety Yak, our son would not be the person he is today. We are immensely grateful to the Autism Spectrum Disorders Foundation for the financial assistance this year to let him attend camp once again.

Christopher B.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation and Camp Yakety Yak for making it possible for my son to attend Camp Yakety Yak again this year. Camp Yakety Yak has been a great experience for my son for several years now. It is a wonderful blessing having an organization such as yours help children with special needs and camps such as Yakety Yak that will teach children the skills and tools they need to flourish as they grow. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you for making Camp Yakety Yak a thing because it helps me have social skills so I can have friends. Thank you teachers for always being nice. Thank you for making things under control because it helps me think about other people.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you for your support in helping our son attend Camp Yakety Yak. This will be his first summer there and we are all very excited about it.

Holly L.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is our son's second summer at Yakety Yak and the staff are stellar. They take the time to connect with families to ensure that each child's needs are met. I love the reverse inclusion model, which offers opportunities for neurotypical peers to take advantage of all the fun. Camp Yakety Yak leverages local and community resources, including leading researchers at Portland State University. I am grateful for the Autism Spectrum Disorders Foundation and its financial support for my 6 year old son on the spectrum to attend.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While it goes without saying that we LOVE Camp Yakety Yak, we couldn't be more thrilled about the launch of the Yak Apprenticeship program!

My boys have attended CYY every summer since 2014. My oldest son, who is neurotypical, has volunteered each year as a high school camp counselor. He's worked with campers in a group setting, and has also worked as a one-on-one with young campers who require additional supports.

This year, my oldest will leave for college. Camp Yakety Yak has played a large part in helping to equip him with many of the skills that he'll need to be happy and successful in the next chapter of his life and beyond. Not only has he learned the value of compassion, acceptance, and kindness to all no matter their ability, but he's learned how to work and collaborate well with a large group of people who hold the same vision in order to be successful. He has learned about the importance of time management, self-discipline, team-work, and how effective, respectful communication plays an important role in any job or position that he'll ever hold. His experiences at CYY have helped to shape him into an incredible young man who cares deeply about the world around him, and who takes seriously the power that he has to create positive impact.

My youngest son, who is neurodiverse, started with Camp Yakety Yak 6 summers ago as a camper. He graduated to a JCC (Junior Camp Counselor) 3 years ago, and last year was invited to participate in the Yak Apprenticeship pilot program. The basis behind this program is pure genius and so very needed for our neurodiverse youth! Much like my oldest son experienced as a camp counselor, these work apprentice teens have a unique opportunity to get to experience and learn about the working world in a safe, respectful, supportive environment. This phenomenal program helps them to recognize and to call on their strengths and abilities in order to reveal to them their capabilities. The guidance and support of highly trained staff who enable them to build on each success, ultimately building confidence that lasts a lifetime, is without parallel.

Last summer, I watched proudly as my son pushed beyond his own perceived limits within the safety net of the team. He worked hard, had a blast, made some new friends, gained incredible skills, and in the end was able to earn time at our local archery range, as well as a brand new bow that he'd been wanting- something that I chose to incentivize him with for his hard work and dedication.

Only a few years ago, Camp Yakety Yak was a hidden gem in a small neighborhood. I have had the great honor of watching it grow quickly in attendance, staff, and in reputation, due in large part to the tremendous impact that it's had on the families whose lives it's touched, and equally so because of the support that it's received from its generous doners. Despite its rapid growth, it has not suffered in quality. In fact, CYY has only continued to thrive and to improve on its existing programs, while continuously introducing new ones. If not for the continued support from organizations like the Autism Spectrum Disorders Foundation, these CYY programs would not only not be possible, but they would be inaccessible to many families. We are so incredibly fortunate to have a program such as this available to our young people. I'm sincerely thankful for ASDF and for their contributions as they have made it possible for my son to attend CYY year after year. We truly can't imagine a summer without Camp Yakety Yak!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned so much while working at this camp last summer! As a returning student preparing for graduate work in Speech-Language Pathology, this camp was a challenging and rewarding introduction to the field. I highly recommend it!

1 Talia M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked here for 2 sessions in the summer of 2013. It's a fantastic learning experience for both volunteers and campers! Whether or not children are neurotypical or have special needs, they will enjoy their time at this camp and will make new friends too!

1 Sarah246

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the summer of 2014, I volunteered at Camp Yakety Yak as a 1:1 assistant for a boy severely impacted with Autism. This experience taught me a flexibility and patience I have never before known. I am honored to have been a part of this amazing camp and look forward to spending another summer with remarkable children and highly qualified and passionate professionals.