HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING!
We are a specialized camp for children and teens with learning disabilities and ADHD, our campers get so excited when Bernie comes to visit, they love having the opportunity to interact with and learn about her. We find her presence to be very therapeutic and beneficial for our kids. We look forward to our visit next summer!
- Camp Amicus, August 2015
Safe and Welcoming Environment
Had I known Angela Blenkhorne during my 30+ year career in education, my job would have been A LOT easier!
As a guidance counselor, I saw many students who struggled with low self-esteem, health and body image concerns, and a general lack of self-confidence. Often, what they needed most was a caring adult they could trust, and who would help them develop self-confidence and an awareness of their physical and emotional strength; in other words, Angela Blenkhorne.
I had the privilege of watching grieving children participate in a Bernie's Buddies Workshop with Angela. I was thoroughly impressed with Angela’s compassion and sensitivity with children struggling with issues of safety and confidence, which many grieving kids face.
Children respond well to Angela’s warm and open welcome. A rapport of trust and mutual respect develops quickly, and children are drawn into the activities easily and enthusiastically in the relaxed and safe environment which Angela creates.
Children who may be wary when walking in the door become reluctant to leave: they want to stay and play with Angela – they seem drawn to her genuine caring and authenticity. She believes in the kids’ strength and ability to participate in the Bernie's Buddies program – the children come to believe it themselves as evidenced in their interactions with Bernie and very fun but challenging poses they successfully achieve. Their self-confidence becomes apparent in their willingness to completely immerse themselves in the activities.
Children and Angela seem to speak the same language; her instructions are kid-friendly, she’s at eye-level when talking with them, and she’s on the floor with them during the yoga movements. Angela’s communication skills, with kids and parents, are exceptional. Angela’s yoga certification and her careful diligence mean that her assessment of a child’s abilities ensures growth within a context of health and safety. She is well able to adjust her teaching style to suit the ages and skills of her participants.
Angela’s impact is speedy and significant. I saw children with greater self-awareness of their physical and emotional strength; children with the confidence to try new and challenging activities; children willing to engage in relationships with new adults, and other children; and children who laughed and had fun despite whatever else was happening in their world.
- Wendy Kurchak , Grief Facilitator Bernie's Buddies workshop November 2013 (B.Ed., Dip. PsychEd (Guidance), Dip. Nursing, CT (ADEC))