The Therapeutic Recreation (TR) Department is dedicated to providing year round recreation and leisure opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. The goal of the TR department is to promote an active leisure lifestyle that improves social, physical, cognitive and emotional functioning and health while enhancing each participant’s abilities. With highly qualified staff at programs, participants can register for many types of programs. By providing a variety of social, cultural, artistic, and culinary programs, as well as sports, fitness, community outings, horticulture, and special events, participants can recreate in the day, evening, or weekend.
Benefits to participation may include improving social skills, enhancing self–esteem, improving overall health and well-being and physical ability, enhancing communication skills, constructive use of leisure time and eliminating boredom, and reduction of stress and anxiety. Come discover the benefits with us.
The program is a cooperative effort between the Park Commission and various municipalities. Participating municipalities include:
South Bound Brook
If you would like to be included in local recreation programs offered by your municipality, call us and we will assist with the inclusion process and help with activity modification or adaptation.
To be placed on our mailing list, find out about registration, or obtain more information about these programs, please contact the Therapeutic Recreation office at 908 526-5650. We are here to help you recreate! Individuals with a hearing/speech impairment, please call the Relay Service @ 711. Click here for the Therapeutic Recreation Brochure. (PDF)
TR Registration Process for general programs
For programs when in-person registration is required, the doors to the TR Activity Center will open one hour prior to the stated registration time in the brochure or flyer and individuals will be allowed to sign the TR sign in list. Doors will not open earlier regardless of weather. The TR sign in list is the only official list. Registration will begin promptly at the time specified in the brochure or flyer and you must be present when your name is called. Names will be called as they appear on the list. If a person’s name is called and they are not present, their spot is forfeited.
Participants not living in a group home residence may register one other participant at the time of registration.
The TR Activity Center is located in North Branch Park; a public area that is open from dawn to dusk. Since individuals are free to be in the park from dawn to dusk, the TR department holds no responsibility as to when people decide to stand at the door and wait for it to open.
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
The TR department strives to provide quality therapeutic recreation services to individuals in our programs. Please review our policies and procedures. PDF If you have any questions about the policies, please feel free to contact the TR department at 908-526-5650.
The Therapeutic Recreation Department recognizes that some people with disabilities may choose to participate in local recreation programs and/or camps with persons without disabilities. The TR staff is here to help support inclusion by assisting other Somerset County Park Commission departments and municipal recreation departments with program adaptation or modification, behavior management support, and staff training. When a referral is made, TR staff will conduct an assessment of a person's abilities then develop a written accommodation plan that includes modifications and supports necessary in order for the person to successfully be included in a program or activity.
Call Dina Trunzo, CTRS at 908 526-5650 for more information. Remember, inclusion benefits everyone!
TR Winter/Spring 2017 Programs
The winter can be cold and dreary but there will be lots of fun things happening at the TR Activity Center this winter and into the spring season. Being a part of our programs means fun, adventure, learning, and more. By participating in the many programs offered for various ages, individuals engage in activities that promote skill development and social enrichment.
Why should you or your child participate in TR programs?
1. Increase physical activity
2. Learn new and innovative recreation activities
3. Make friends
4. Have fun
5. Become more independent
Programs are offered for the following age groupings:
Adults 31 and older
Young Adults 18-30
With this approach to programming, participants can now attend programs with peers that share more common interests. We work to ensure a fun and trusting environment for you or your child that is conducive to learning while engaging in recreation activities.
The department will start of the season with a Kitchen Kapers cooking program and Coffee Klatch; a coffee and conversation club. Other program offerings include, but are not limited to, Dining Out, Chairside Adventures (where participants will travel to a different part of the world without leaving the TR Activity Center), Painter's Palette, Bingo Mania, Friday Night Drop In, International Cooking, Cake Mix Cookies, Theater Works, and much more. There will be plenty of programs for everyone's skill and interest level. If you have questions or if you want to receive a flyer/brochure please call the TR department at 908 526-5650 or visit us on the web at www.somersetcountyparks.org. Individuals with speech or hearing impairments, please call the Relay Service @ 711.
Camp Okee Sunokee
A six week day camp for children with learning disabilities or Asperger's Syndrome, ages 7-14, that encourages the development of recreation and social skills and enhances self-confidence and educational growth through the participation in a variety of activities including arts & crafts, sports & games, music, cooking, trips, and swimming. The camp will begin on June 26. A limited number of spaces are available on a first come-first served basis and campers must reside in Somerset County. Applications will available in late February/early March. For additional information please call 908 526-5650.
Therapeutic Recreation Adapted Instruction at Lord Stirling. Adapted horseback riding instruction for children, teens, and adults ages 9 and older who have a developmental disability and reside in Somerset County. Riders must weigh less than 225 pounds and able to balance themselves on the horse with minimal assistance. All riders will be weighed the first night of class. The program is run conjunction with Lord Stirling Stable. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, beginning March 28 and March 29 for 10 consecutive weeks. All riders must provide one (1) volunteer each week for the ten weeks. Two classes are offered each day:
*Class 1 6:15-7:30 pm
*Class 2 7:15-8:30 pm
*ACCEPTANCE WILL BE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE RIDING INSTRUCTOR AND TR STAFF AND BASED ON THE AVAILAIBLITY OF AN APPROPRIATE HORSE THAT CAN SUPPORT THE RIDER'S WEIGHT. CLASS ASSIGNMENT WILL BE BASED UPON THE RIDING AND FUNCTIONAL ABILITY OF THE RIDER, AND NOT AGE, TO ALLOW FOR PROGRESSION TO A HIGHER SKILL LEVEL.