This is Part 1 of a three part Summer Camps series.
Finding just the right camp for a child with special needs can present a challenge. Parents of special needs children often have additional questions and concerns that 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 while at camp? Are the camp counselors trained for my child’s special needs?
Delaware Summer Camps For Special Needs
We at Delaware Family Voices understand how important it is to find just the right summer camp for your special needs child. Listed here are camps in the Delaware area that can accommodate 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. Camp attendees total less than those attending the residential camp in order to meet extensive personal needs.
Residential Summer Camp: A traditional residential summer camp from June through August. Activities include swimming, wall climbing, zip line, horseback riding, outdoor games, arts and crafts, and more. Most sessions are six days in length, Sunday to Friday, and participants are grouped by age, with sessions for children from 6-21, as well as adults. Several sessions are dedicated to children with Autism.
Travel Trips: Trips designed to be accessible for people with disabilities. Travel Trips are offered during summer and respite weekends. Previous Travel Trips included New York City, Las Vegas, Nashville and Disneyworld. Participants much be 18 years or older.
Daily Adventures: Offered during the summer programs. Activities include field trips to nearby places including the shore, state parks and zoos, as well as nearby cities like Washington DC, Annapolis and Baltimore. The Youth Daily Adventure is for children ages 13-21.
Refer to the Easter Seals Camp Fairlee Manor website for the latest camp dates and activities.
Camp Lee Mar
Camp Lee Mar is an overnight camp for children with mild to moderate learning and developmental challenges. Campers can participate in traditional summer camp activities in a structured environment. The camp also offers speech and language therapy, adaptive athletic program, vocational training and therapeutic horseback riding. Camp runs from June 25 to August 12, and is located in Lackawaxin, PA. Financial assistance might be available.
Camps Lenape And Manito
Run by the United Cerebral Palsey of Delaware, Camps Lenape and Manito are open to children and young adults (ages 3-21) with orthopedic disabilities as well as children without disabilities. Both campsites have paved walkways for easy access by wheelchair as well as 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.
The 2014 Camp Manito dates are from June 30 to August 8th. A smaller program for students of the John G. Leach School will be August 11-15th.
The 2014 Camp Lenape dates are June 30 to August 8th.
Find additional Camp information and Camp application forms at UCP Summer Camps.
Camp Sequoia is an overnight summer camp for boys ages 8-17 who need help developing 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. Most 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 fills an unmet need in the overnight camp market for children and teenagers who do not need the level of support offered at special needs overnight camps, yet need more than a what traditional overnight camp can offer.
Camp Sequoia is located at The Perkioman School, Pennsburg PA, and runs from June 29 – August 9th.
Camp Victory is dedicated to providing a camp experience for children who live 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. Check the Camp Calendar for the different types of camps offered. Camp Victory is located in Millville PA.
Children’s Beach House Summer Camps
Located on the Delaware Bay, Children’s Beach House Summer Camps 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 the organization for exact camp dates.
DragonFly Forest Summer Camps
DragonFly Forest Summer Camps provide an overnight camping experience for children with Autism and complex medical needs. Campers enjoy a wide variety of camp activities in an environment that is safe and equipped to meet 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, and most programs are free.
Check Dragonfly Forest Summer Camp for specific dates and camp details. All summer camps are now open for enrollment.
Mary Campbell Center Summer Camps
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.
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 be able to accommodate children with certain special needs. These programs might be an opportunity for social inclusion for your special needs child. Thoroughly discuss your child’s special needs as well as your expectations of the camp before you commit to help ensure your child has the best overall possible camp experience.
Summer Camps Outside the Delaware Area
There are many summer camps offered through out the area and across the country. Check the National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities page, Camps for Children With Special Needs, for other camps not mentioned here, or for camps in other geographic locations.
Do you know of a summer camp that accommodates children with special needs that isn’t listed here? Please share it with us.
Also check the Summer Camps page of the Delaware Family Voices website for additional summer camp possibilities.
Don’t miss the other two blogs in the Summer Camp Series:
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