Thursday, May 26, 2016

Great summer camps for kids with special needs


A resource list for exploring summer camps for kids with special needs. Feel free to mention any great camps in the comments that your child has been to, and enjoyed.

Very Special Camps lists camps and programs for people with special needs around the country; you can browse by disability or by state.

KidsCamps.com also lists camps by state, and specifies the types of disabilities accommodated.

My Summer Camps lists camps by disability, which you can then filter by state.

Easter Seals Disability Services has 140 accessible camps around the country—for adults, too.

Federation for Children with Special Needs lists camps for kids with special needs by disability.

Cristo Vive International provides camp programs for children with disabilities around the world; there are a few locations in this country.

Foundation For Jewish Camp has a list of camps for Jewish children with special needs. Ones I can vouch for: Yachad's summer programs and the Ramah Tikvah program, which are both inclusionary. I have also heard good things about Camp HASC in Parksville, NY, which follows IEPs.

A couple of notable camps for children and teens with special needs in the tri-state area, my neck of the woods: Southampton Fresh Air Home in Southampton, NY; Elks Camp Moore in Haskell, NJ; Camp Fatima in Harrison, NJ; and Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne, NY. And one camp I recently found out about that looks great: Victory Junction, in Randleman, North Carolina, for kids with serious illnesses (they offer a week for campers with cerebral palsy).

Image: Flickr/Kris Krug

12 comments:

  1. This one is pretty local to the East Texas area, but I'm the director of a camp for adults with special needs called Camp Kennedy. We have a sister camp for teens and lower functioning adults called Camp Heyday. I've got 3 adopted special kiddos of my own and one of them comes to my camp. :-)
    http://www.arcofsmithcounty.com/

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  2. Also in NJ, the Helen Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children offers a one week, expenses paid vacation in beautiful Avalon NJ for blind and visually impaired children ages 7-15. http://www.dillerblindhome.org/

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  3. We are going to be doing Camp Yofi at Ramah Darom this year for the first time! I learned about it thanks to your blog so thank you! Already been in touch with another family who has done it for years and gave it rave reviews.

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  4. Kiwanis Camp Casey in Washington State is for kids with physical disabilities and is AMAZING.

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  5. Camp John Marc in Texas is amazing! You don't apply directly to the camp, but rather to one of the sponsoring groups. There are separate sessions for kids with spina bifida, burn survivors, muscular dystrophy, blood disorders and cancer, hemophilia, sickle cell, and asthma. Here's the website: http://www.campjohnmarc.org/

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  6. Bay Cliff Health Camp... It is a 7 week long intensive therapy camp for children with physical disabilities on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Therapists come from all over the country to work with the children... A beautiful, positive place with many therapy goals achieved by the campers throughput the course of the summer as well as all the traditional camp activities, and lots of friends! I worked there many summers! There are also a couple adult camps throughout the year and a post-polio camp. www.baycliff.org

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  7. Hasc is amazing. 7 week sleepaway camp with integrated school and amazing fun activities. Amazing.

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  8. Victory Junction and Double H are both part of a worldwide network of camps called the SeriousFun Children's Network. Many of the camps focus on kids with medical conditions (blood disorders, metabolic diseases, cancers, organ transplant's,etc) but each camp has different sessions and serves a variety of conditions so there are sessions for kids on ventilators, for kids with craniofacial differences, burns, etc depending on the camp. SeriousFunnetwork.org has info on all the camps worldwide for more information. They adhere to very high standards for safety and programming and have incredible staff.

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  9. Kamp Dovetail in Hllsboro, Ohio is awesome!

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  10. Camp Awakening offers summer camp & leadership programs for youth with physical disabilities and accepts campers from across Canada and around the world. Located in the province of Ontario: www.campawakening.com
    There's also the Ontario Camps Association searchable "find a camp" database: www.ontariocamps.ca and Special Needs Road Map: http://www.specialneedsroadmaps.ca/special-needs-summer-camp-listing/

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  11. I have CP and my parents sent me to a summer camp for people with physical disabilities. I did not have the best experience because it was a integrated camp and we (the special campers) were patronized by the other campers, the staff sometimes seemed like they were taking extra precautions like making us wear to harnesses instead of the standard one, we had less activities to do than the normal campers. Personally I have more challenges with using my hands the walking but the program was more focused on people with trouble walking. My mother had tried in the past to enroll me in Easter seals but I was rejected because I had no limitations around walking but I needed a considerable amount of help with eating and dressing, My advice would to try a camp but change for the next summer if the child dislikes it find a new camp.

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  12. Are there any camps for children with Autism, SLD.....?

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Thanks for sharing!



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