HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — The clock is ticking for summer camps to find counselors for the upcoming season, but that search has become more difficult for Q’s Corner Gym in High Point.
The gym opened during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and is one of a small number of gyms that has an environment specific to children with autism or special needs.
Candace Hayes started the gym in honor of her son Quintin, 11, who has autism.
“My family and I moved from Los Angeles where they had a lot of gyms and then to Miami…but when we got to High Point, there was nothing,” Hayes aid.
Quintin is the oldest of Hayes’ four children but the only one with autism.
“Being able to take my three other kids to summer camp, and I have to keep my other kid home with me,” she said. “That’s really tough. And he asked, ‘mommy can I go to summer camp?’ And there are no summer camps that will accommodate him.”
To make that dream come true this year, Hayes aimed to start a summer camp geared toward children like him.
The gym’s motto is “Inclusion isn’t Illusion,” which is why it accommodates all children of all backgrounds and abilities.
However, for the summer class, the idea is to accommodate those who aren’t able to attend other camps.
The gym wants to hire 10 Early Childhood educators, 10 College interns and 10 High School volunteers who either have a background in teaching children with special abilities or have a desire to do so in the future.
Out of those 30, only four titles have been filed.
“There is a big number we still have to get to,” said Brandy Humphrey, the General Manager for Q’s Corner.
The gym wants to start the 11-week camp on June 6 but that could be delayed if they do not get enough volunteers.
One mother to a four-year-old with autism told FOX8 that she has not found any summer camps for her child, and she’s looked since January.
The camps would help create a structure for the child that can mirror what they had during their school year to prevent regression.
“They’ve been out of school all summer, and some of those behavior things they were working on every single day…kind of drop off at home,” Hayes said.