SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — Summer is around the corner for Bay area students, but not all can go to just any camp.
- Freedom Sailing Camp for kids on autism spectrum
- Mother Bonnie Monroe started the program
- LINK: Freedom Sailing Camp website
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That's where the Freedom Sailing Camp of Florida comes in.
They take in kids on the autism spectrum in to show them a good time out on the water.
Founder Bonnie Monroe has spent a lot of time in the water after her son Mark decided he wanted to learn sailing when he was younger.
But it was hard finding him a place to do it safely.
"There was nowhere that gave him the support he needed to sail," Monroe said.
Mark is on the autism spectrum, so Bonnie decided she would start her own sailing camp to help Mark and others like him have a safe place to get out on the water.
Seven years later, Mark is helping her run it.
"You're free from the outside world. There's nothing for you to worry about until you get back on the land," Mark said.
Monroe welcomes high functioning campers to come out and learn to kayak, sail and paddleboard at Philippe Park in Safety Harbor.
But that's not all they learn.
"They learn how to be flexible. How to be out in the community. Sail, paddle board, and adjusting to the different environmental things going on out here," Monroe said.
On Saturday, parents got a free day to see what the camp will be like this summer.
"This is an amazing program for kids on the spectrum," said Reine Hanna, who enrolled her son. "It helps them to socialize. It helps them be fearless. More familiar with the water."
The camp starts for the summer on June 3. For more information, visit http://www.freedomsailingcampoffloridainc.com/home.html