Young talent: Camp Maple Leaf ends with annual show

DeKALB – To celebrate the end of Camp Maple Leaf’s seven-week summer camp, a talent show was held July 23 at the Hopkins Park Bandshell.

Camp Maple Leaf has been offered through Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association since 1977. The daily camp is for children of all abilities, age 5 through high school transition. This year, there were 39 participants.

The talent show featured more than 15 acts, including singing, dancing and the playing of instruments.

“[The camp] provides physical activity, arts and crafts, peer interaction and provides help with socialization and social skills in a summer camp setting,” said Kishwaukee SRA Executive Director Dawn Schaefer.

Allison Delaisla of Kingston’s 11-year-old son Gavin has been attending Camp Maple Leaf for five years. During the talent show, he explained how to complete remodeling projects around the house.

“When he first started the camp, he was nonverbal and had very limited social skills and interactions with kids his age,” she said. “He’s developed so much. Now he’s verbal, he socializes. He really enjoys being active: bowling, being outside and hanging out with his friends. He’s made true life friends and loves coming to camp every year.”

For more information about Camp Maple Leaf, visit or call 779-777-7285.

Katrina Milton

Katrina J.E. Milton

Award-winning reporter and photographer for Shaw Media publications, including The Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek newspapers in DeKalb County, Illinois, since 2012.