Rising Treetops Helps: Brian

This month’s story is about 19-year-old Brian, who lives in The Bronx with his family and is diagnosed with autism. While Brian has come to camp and respite sessions most years since he was 10, he flourished this past year.


Brian has grown to be very patient and gentle with people and is also independent and increasingly self-reliant at camp. He likes learning card games and teaching games to others.


Brian’s counselor described one of Brian’s days as follows: Brian woke up, got dressed and greeted everyone “good morning”. He enjoyed his breakfast and socializing with others. Then on to the gym for “Movin’ and Groovin” warm-up exercises, followed by some spirited basketball and table hockey. After rest time, he went to the library for puzzles and games, and then went to the music activity. He loved lunch and after rest time, Brian returned to the gym and played more basketball, then made cookies in the cooking class, and ended his afternoon in arts and crafts. After dinner, he rested, then happily played games in the evening before returning to his cabin to get ready for bed.


Brian’s full day is just one example of the rich array of activities Rising Treetops has to offer.


We recently spoke with Brian’s mother Sandy and she told us that B.J., as she calls him, “just loves it at Rising Treetops” and sends her pictures of deer, birds and all his outdoor discoveries while he is in Oakhurst. As soon as he returns home he misses the green spaces he has at the camp. She believes his interest in geology has grown because of his time at Rising Treetops.


In Brian’s 19 years, his only time away from home for overnight stays are at his grandmother’s home and at Rising Treetops. Sandy said she feels Brian is protected and she trusts Rising Treetops, and admitted she is not someone who generally likes it when her son is away from home.


Sandy told us from day one when she first met Rising Treetops’ staff she and Brian felt cared for. She is the director of a pre-K program and is always amazed by how much personal attention she and Brian get from Rising Treetops staff. Sandy said Brian has been coming out of his shell this past year and credits his time at Rising Treetops for the positive changes she has seen.


Brian tells his mom he feels good being able to help clients who are less capable than him, and it means a lot to Sandy that he has learned to help others. Brian has made friends this past year at Rising Treetops, and tells people that his family visits the Poconos, but he sees Rising Treetops as his own personal Poconos!


Brian also speaks a lot about the cooking classroom. Sandy told us that he is looking at learning more about cooking and considers himself a chef! She said that as a result of his increasing confidence, gained in part from his experiences at Rising Treetops, he is now getting ready to move on after graduating high school to either an adult day program or perhaps taking college classes.


Sandy ended our talk with “Thank you, thank you for keeping B.J. safe and for making him so comfortable!”


We look forward to seeing clients like Brian continue to grow and become more independent. We hope to see Brian and all of our amazing campers back in Oakhurst this summer, if not at a respite session sooner! Please consider this New Year volunteering at Rising Treetops, supporting us by making an online donation or by purchasing something from our Amazon Wish List. Thank you!


P.S. If you enjoyed your experience at Rising Treetops please leave us a 5 Star Google Review! Your feedback means the world to us.

About Rising Treetops at Oakhurst

Just a mile from the Atlantic Ocean is a beautiful 15-acre wooded environment where people with special needs can have fun, be cared for, and learn new ways to grow and become more independent. At Rising Treetops at Oakhurst, we have trained, attentive staff that provide full personal care and reside in our modern cabins with clients. Our team knows how to meet the needs of every client that come to Rising Treetops, both children and adults, with a broad range of special needs, including autism.

Related Posts

Skip to content