A simple concept with great impact

simple_concept_01
We offer a broad range of day and overnight programs throughout the year that allow children with a chronic health condition to renew their spirits through diverse opportunities for play and to connect with others youth who are facing the same chronic health condition. Together they try new experiences, can be worry free for while, and build lasting friendships.

 

Download our program brochure (PDF) for an overview of ourprograms  that will allow you to:
  • Renew your spirits
  • Opportunities to play
  • Be worry free for a while
  • Try new experiences
 
Social impact:

Young people need to have opportunities to be engaged in a community where they learn to act and interact with others, to feel empowered to in a safe and supportive environment that allows them to learn new skills, to explore their values and beliefs, to feel a sense of belonging. These opportunities help shape their thinking and attitudes. Positive experiences away from home will help them gain a sense of independence and self esteem. They learn and grow in our programs and will be able to apply their learning in their home communities with the belief that they are capable to influence their own future in a positive way.

sisters swimOften children with a chronic health condition have fewer opportunities to engage in such enrichment opportunities as their condition requires adaptations of program schedules and in many cases a certain level of medical supervision which is missing in mainstream programs. It is challenging for parents to let go of their child and trust they will be safe.

Zebra Crossings develops intentional programs that are designed to further develop children’s skills, boost their independence, and reduce fear and anxiety based on their illness. They discover what they are capable of achieving through developing social and life skills and attitudes that promote personal growth and confidence. They will be able to tap these beliefs and attitudes when their facing difficult moments in life.

Program outcomes:

Play and laughter have healing power. We can draw from our memories and relive the moments with smiles on our face. Lasting friendships and peer support give us a sense of belonging. Positive enrichment experiences provide instant relief but also improve a participant’s resiliency in the long term.

We believe that our participants will leave our program with:

  • New friendships and a lasting support community
  • Increased self-confidence and sense of independence
  • Awareness to take responsibility for their own health
  • Inspiration to live life to the fullest
  • Desire to seek opportunities and to achieve goals

LIT Programs for ages 16-17 (Future program)

 

In the next couple of years, as our participants grow into this age group we plan to offer a Leader In Training (LIT) Program. This will be a unique program for a small group of high school juniors and seniors that would like to become part of the Zebra Crossings community by volunteering their time to assist with youth programs as LIT.


position6We will be looking for LIT’s who have a chronic health condition themselves. LIT's will be able to relate to the participant's experience and have the opportunity to be a rolemodel for them.

Together LIT’s join a team representing the various chronic health conditions. This group of LIT’s will participate in training weekends and a culminating field trip. However, they will be stepping into their LIT role for our youth programs.

This program is designed as a year round program experience. Those interested need to apply to become part of the group.

How to Apply

We encourage parents to contact us  to talk about their child's health condition, their strenghts and interests, as well as any special needs. We would like to assess with you if we can include your child safely in our program and how to make any accommodations to set your child up for a positive experience.
All our programs are supported by donations, grants and sponsorships and families only pay a small registration fee to commit to the program. This fee helps us to underwrite some of the direct expenses of the program. However, it should never prohibit anyone from joining our programs as we will waive it if needed.

position8For all programs the following guidelines apply:
  • Participants need to have a diagnosis of a chronic health condition.
  • Participants need to be in the appropriate age group at the start of the program.
  • Participants will be chosen without regard of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background.
  • Severity of the health condition: we may favor a participant whose condition is more severe over those participants whose condition is mild.
  • However, the chronic health condition and/or other medical conditions must be stable enough to participate in daily program activities. Our primary focus is the safety of all our participants.
  • First time participants will be given priority over returning participants.
  • Capacity of each program: The number of participants, and the gender mix of participants, is often determined by the overall facility size, housing options and staff coverage.
  • Number of family members with a chronic health condition: Given the stress on families with multiple members with a chronic health condition, serious consideration will be given to accept siblings applying for camp.
  • Receipt date of completed application packet: Registrations received by the early registration date of the program will be given priority in the selection process. All registrations received after that date will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis.

All applications will be held until the registration deadline. After this date, our team will review all the completed applications and a determination of your child's eligibility will be made. You will receive notification within a week of the registration deadline. After the registration deadline enrollment is first come first serve.

Where you live does not matter. If you are willing to travel to our program and we have an opening….you are welcome to join us!

family_program_01Family Programs

We have a few exciting family socials and weekends planned where the entire family can rejuvenate and spend quality time together. Families can connect with others who understand and can relate to their experiences. Fun and engaging activities will allow kids to play and be worry free in a supportive environment. Parents may choose to join the fun, relax or talk with other parents and share ideas.

This is chance for parents to try new activities for themselves, which does not happen that often. Siblings have a chance to participate in the exciting activities together. We will provide you with housing, meals and medical support for the weekend so you can really enjoy your time away from your day to day. You will create memories that last a lifetime.

Positive outcomes of our family programs are:
  • A sense of community and belonging
  • Understanding of each other’s needs
  • Renewed appreciation for your family
  • Inspiration to achieve your goals

This is chance for parents to try new activities for themselves, which does not happen that often. Siblings have a chance to participate in the exciting activities together. We will provide you with housing, meals and medical support for the weekend so you can really enjoy your time away from your day to day. You will create memories that last a lifetime. 

  
Upcoming Partner Programs in collaboration with the American Youth Foundation:
  • Down syndrome Family Weekend - April 5-6, 2014

Location: AYF-Merrowvista in Center Tuftonboro, NH.           Please click here for more information.

Based on interest we hope to increase these events such as picnics, cookouts, dinners, sport events, and more. Keep an eye out for these events on our calendar or sign up for our mailing list for news and updates.



 

parent_programParent Programs

What parents need and can look forward to:
  • Develop a parent support network
  • Learn new skills and strategies for balancing life
  • Spend quality time as couple
  • A sense of optimism and preparedness
  • Rejuvenate and gain fresh perspective

 

Educational and Support Programs 
Zebra Crossings is planning to offer in partnership with other community organizations various educational and support programs just for parents, providing valuable information on special needs of children with a chronic health condition. This educational program address some concerns and challenges parents may face when parenting through illness.

Topics may include:

  • IEP's in the school
  • Developmental impact of illness
  • Coping with illness
  • Limit setting/boundaries/normalization
  • Sibling concerns

 

teen_programsTeen Programs for Ages 13-14 (starting in 2015)

Our teen programs will offer Teens social and recreational time with other teens that face a similar health condition and day to day challenges. Day events include field trips with mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, horseback riding, skiing, snowshoeing, woodworking projects, cooking workshops, etc.


Weekends retreats will be held each spring and fall at a camp facility. Teens from all over New Hampshire and surrounding states can come together to renew existing friendships, develop new ones, and to share quality time together. Lots of diverse activities will be planned for these programs.
Teens are encouraged to email us with ideas and suggestions for these programs.

Click here for our program application form and information.
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