Created to help children with sensory issues, Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks' Sensory-Friendly Nature Explorers Mini-Camp was awarded the Learning Resources Network Best Programming Award on Dec. 4 at the association's annual conference in New Orleans.

County officials said the successful program, collaborated between the department's Therapeutic Recreation Division and the Robinson Nature Center, allows children ages 4 to 8 to use their sense of smell, touch, or hearing as well as movement during their participation in different activities.

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"This kind of collaboration is wonderful," Susan Potts, Therapeutic Recreation & Accommodation Services manager, said in a statement provided by the county. "It allows us to combine the expertise of Robinson's staff in engaging kids outdoors with the expertise of our companions who are trained to recognize and provide specific accommodations so that each child has an incredible experience."

The LERN association works to ensure the best practices and trends in continuing education.

While capacity was filled during the camp's three days in August, county officials said the program will expand to two sections in Summer 2016, doubling the availability.

For more information on the Therapeutics Program of Howard County's Department of Recreation & Parks, go to www.howardcountymd.gov/TREC.htm. Information about the Robinson Nature Center can also be found at www.howardcountymd.gov/robinsonnaturecenter.htm.

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