Note: This is Part 1 of a 2-part Summer Camps series.
Finding a summer camp for a child with special needs can be daunting for parents. Specific questions and concerns often need to be addressed before sending their child to camp. Questions like: Will the camp meet my child’s special needs? Will my child thrive at camp? Are camp counselors trained to handle my child’s special needs?
We are here to help! Delaware Family Voices understands how important it is to find the right summer camp for your child, and have compiled a list of summer camps in the Delaware area for your consideration. Each camp is specially designed to meet the unique challenges of children with special needs.
Easter Seals Camp Fairlee Manor
Camp Fairlee Manor offers multiple programs for children and adults with physical disabilities and / or cognitive impairments as well as special weeks for children with Autism spectrum disorders. Located near Chestertown, Maryland, Camp Fairlee Manor is a fully accessible setting, ensuring children have full access to camp activities and programs.
Weekly Summer Camp: Camp activities include arts and crafts, sports, games, nature walks, swimming, fishing, ropes courses and canoeing.
Respite Weekends: A weekend-based year-round camp for children and adults with the most involved physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral disabilities, including medically-fragile individuals.
Residential Summer Camp: A traditional residential summer camp that includes activities like swimming, wall climbing, zip line, horseback riding, outdoor games, arts and crafts. Camp sessions available ages 6 to 21.
Daily Adventures: Activities include field trips to nearby places like the shore, state parks and zoos, Washington DC, Annapolis and Baltimore. The Youth Daily Adventure is for children ages 13-21.
Refer to Easter Seals Camp Fairlee Manor for camp dates and details.
Camp Lee Mar
Camp Lee Mar is an overnight camp for children with mild to moderate learning and developmental challenges. Campers participate in traditional summer camp activities in a structured environment as well as speech and language therapy, adaptive athletic program, vocational training and therapeutic horseback riding.
Camp Lee Mar runs from June 24 to August 11, and is located in Lackawaxin, PA. Financial assistance might be available.
Camps Lenape And Manito
Camps Lenape and Manito, run by United Cerebral Palsey of Delaware, are open to children and young adults (ages 3-21) with orthopedic disabilities as well as children without disabilities. Both sites have paved walkways for easy access by wheelchair and a swimming pool with an accessible in-pool ramp. Through traditional camp activities like swimming, arts and crafts, music, nature and sports, camp counselors promote independence and self-esteem, helping to build self-confidence in campers with disabilities.
Both camps run from June 29 to August 7, 2015. Camp Manito serves New Castle County, and Camp Lenape serves Kent and Sussex Counties.
Camp Sequoia is an overnight summer camp designed to assist boys ages 7-17 to further develop their social skills. The camp’s innovative program integrates Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework to help campers build their social thinking skills through an active, traditional camp program. Many campers are diagnosed with ADHD. Campers also include boys with social anxiety, learning differences which affect social skills development, as well as boys who may not have a formal diagnosis yet present with social learning needs.
Camp Sequoia runs from June 28 to August 8 at The Perkioman School, Pennsburg PA.
Camp Victory provides camp experiences for children living with chronic health problems, physical or mental disabilities, or the aftermath of catastrophic illness. Children attending Camp Victory have many and diverse special needs, including complex medical treatments. Camp Victory is planned and built to support all such needs.
Refer to Camp Victory for specific camp offerings and dates. Camp Victory is in Millville PA.
Children’s Beach House
Children’s Beach House Summer Camps, located on the Delaware Bay, provide a unique experience for children with special needs. Campers’ activities include swimming, sailing, kayaking, arts and crafts, nature, and more. Camp staff modifies activities to encourage all campers to participate at some level of success, thereby building self-confidence.
Contact Children’s Beach House for specific camp dates.
DragonFly Forest Summer Camp
DragonFly Forest Summer Camps provide overnight camp experiences for children with Autism and complex medical needs. Campers enjoy a wide variety of camp activities in an environment that is equipped to address a variety of physical, medical and psychological needs. Sessions include Autism, Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion, Respiratory and Asthma, and Sickle Cell Disease. DragonFly Forest summer camps are located in Phoenixville PA.
Refer to Dragonfly Forest Summer Camp for specific camp dates.
Mary Campbell Center Summer Camp
The Mary Campbell Center offers two week camp sessions from June to August for children with special needs between the ages of 3-21 and their siblings. Activities include field trips, swimming, games, arts and crafts, and cooking. Teamwork is stressed throughout every activity. All camps are at the Mary Campbell Center in Wilmington DE.
Refer to the Mary Campbell Center website for summer program dates.
Special Olympics Delaware Camp Barnes
Special Olympics Camp Barnes is a three-day, two-night camp featuring sports training and traditional camp activities. Campers also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of traditional SODE sports throughout the three days. Camp is offered to all registered Special Olympics Delaware athletes.
Camp Barnes 2015 is scheduled for August 8-10 and August 16-18.
Traditional Summer Camp Programs
Traditional summer camp programs such as the Boys & Girls clubs, YMCA, local county/city recreational programs, and boy/girl scout camps may also accommodate children with certain special needs. These programs might be an opportunity for social inclusion for your special needs child. Prior to committing to a program, thoroughly discuss your child’s special needs as well as your expectations of the camp. This will help ensure your child has the best overall possible camp experience.
Summer Camp Season Is Almost Here!
There are many summer camps offered through out the area and across the country. Check the Healthy Delawareans With Disabilities Camps page for other camps not mentioned here, or for camps in other geographic locations. Also check the Summer Camps page of the Delaware Family Voices website for additional summer camp possibilities.
Do you know of a summer camp that accommodates children with special needs that isn’t listed here? Please share it with us.
The Delaware Family Voices website includes links to other Internet and third party resources. These third party resources are for your consideration only. Their products and services are not intended to be considered an endorsement by Delaware Family Voices.