Many of our clients and their support staff look forward to a trip to Camp Confidence on East Gull Lake in Brainerd. The camp takes a “people first, disability second” approach to serving our community so that campers can achieve self-confidence and self-esteem through active hands-on activities in a variety of experiences. There is a long list of options from which to choose. Fishing is always a favorite activity—especially getting to drive the boat (with careful supervision of course). Maybe you have a favorite memory of time away at camp with friends or family—roasting marshmallows, singing around the campfire, swimming, boating. We always look forward to the pictures of our campers each year, and we are especially grateful to those who donate during our Made in the Shade campaign, as “a trip to camp” is often high on the wish list for our group homes.
Food, Fun, and France--French Club--a first of its kind 9 week residency for adults with developmental disabilities was offered in March of 2019 in collaboration with teachers from Alliance Francaise of Minneapolis St. Paul (www. afmsp.org)—a teaching organization that promotes French language and culture. Alliance Francaise is the largest cultural network in the world. Clients learned about culture, customs, holidays, a few French greetings, learned songs in French, and we set up a French market and pastry shop one night to learn about food. A French Chef helped us prepare a meal to enjoy on another night! Our showcase night for family and staff at the end of the series featured crepes and French food. We hope to do this residency again in the future.
Spoken Word and Poetry Club
In the Spring of 2019, a new initiative called “Rock the Mic” was formed to encourage self-expression through spoken word an poetry. They therapeutic benefits of writing are well documented. What an excellent way for clients to explore feelings. The first group will met on Tuesday nights at our Plato campus and worked with “Desdamona”-- an international award-winning artist; who has taken her distinct lyrics, sounds, and artistic stylings to audiences from Minnesota to Hawaii to Puerto Rico to Germany-- gracing some of Hip Hop and poetry’s most illustrious stages. She has won five Minnesota Music Awards for 'Best Spoken Word Artist' in the years 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Spoken Word can also be demonstrated thru song. In April 2019, Darolyn Gray wrote a song—Healing Waters- in support of several club members missing their loved ones.
Summer softball league takes place, weather permitting, on Sunday afternoons at Sibley Park in Minneapolis. Clients and staff of all abilities gather for fun, cheered on by enthusiastic fans. What a great opportunity to participate in a sport.
Winter Bowling League
Weather permitting, from February thru April each year, every other Wednesday night at 6PM, we offer bowling at a discounted price at AMF Saxon Lanes in Little Canada. the activity, and all are welcome even if they choose not to bowl. It is a great opportunity to have a meal together. get some exercise, and to celebrate our core value of fellowship. We appreciate that the bowling alley offers us a special price of $4.00 for two games, including shoes, and staff can participate at no charge
Staff coordinate our annual “Wingspan’s Got Talent”show in the Spring. Clients, as individuals or in groups, dazzle the audience with many different talents—there may be singing, zumba dancing, martial arts displays, poetry reading, rap performance, joke telling and more. Judges always have a very difficult time choosing the top three performances, and all participants receive an award for their efforts.
Ladies Day In
Our In-Home team coordinates this fun day of activity held 10 times per year on Saturdays at our Plato campus. It is open to Wingspan residential clients as well. The activity includes lunch, a craft project, and games from 11am to 2pm. Not only is it a good time to meet with other women to build friendships (some very long lasting), but it is also a place to give and receive support. We see a boost in confidence, self-esteem and happiness in all of the ladies who attend–in part because of their beautiful and inclusive spirits, but also thanks to the friendly, caring staff who create a positive and fun atmosphere of equality.
Guys Night Out
For men in our In-Home program, this is a time to get together for sporting events, plays, shoot pool, bowl, movie, community activity, dances, festivals, Bingo, Karaoke or live music and other activities, have dinner and just hang out and be men together. Friendships are forged and socializing in our communities is another goal!
Movie night may be held one Friday night per month at our Plato Office. Not only is it entertaining, but it’s a great reunion of clients and their staff. Refreshments are provided.
The Magnolia Ball is Wingspan Life Resource’s annual formal dance where our residents can kick up their heels and dance the night away. Residents from all houses don their best party garb and are transported to a hotel where a ballroom has been transformed into a themed event.