Summer is a time for fun and experiencing nature. Across the United States, camps have been created to offer all people with disabilities an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
The camps listed are just a sampling of what is offered across the country for adults and children with disabilities. These camps range from overnight to day camps and offer various opportunities from sport activities to arts and crafts. This factsheet also provides resources such as published camp guides and online camp search engines that will assist interested individuals in searching for the camp that fits their individual interests, needs, and goals.
Discover Camp: A Booklet on Camps for Children with Disabilities
The National Center on Accessibility (NCA), NCPAD's partner, has recently created a new booklet entitled, "Discover Camp." This booklet provides information on types of camps (i.e., specialty, inclusive, day, and residential), facilities, camp staff, camper care, and programming. It includes additional suggestions on what to consider before heading to camp, as well as other resources.
To obtain a copy, contact one of NCPAD's Information Specialists by phone at (800) 900-8086 or by e-mail.
Camps 2003: A Directory of Camps and Summer Programs for Children and Youth with Special Needs and Disabilities in the Metro New York Area
Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc. has published the latest edition of a guide for locating summer camps and programs for children and youth with disabilities in New York City and the northeast.
This guide is written in English and Spanish. Both guides are indexed alphabetically and by disability. It includes profiles of more than 300 day camps, recreation, tutoring, and travel programs, museums, nature experience and summer employment in New York City, sleep away programs in the northeast, and travel programs throughout the U.S. that serve both special and mainstream children. This camp directory is $22 plus $7 for shipping and handling.
For more information, call (212) 677-4650 or go to visit the Web site.
The National Limb Loss Information Center's Summer Camps for 2003
The National Limb Loss Information Center has published a list of Summer Camps for 2003. This is a list of camps around the country that provide a summer retreat for young people with limb differences and other physical disabilities.
For more information, please visit the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) Web site.
NICHCY's Summer Camps for Children with Disabilities: 2003
A guide produced by the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) to some of the directories and listings of summer camps. Half of these resources identify camps specifically intended for children who have disabilities. The other half are simply directories listing camp opportunities available to all children.
For more information, please visit the NICHCY Web site.
ACT Children's Camp
Sponsored by Amputees Coming Together (ACT), this camp is for children with limb loss. ACT camp is free, but each camper is responsible for his or her own transportation to and from the camp.
Located in Bryson City, North Carolina, ACT camp offers several programs to challenge the camper. Such activities include mountain biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and canoeing.
For more information, call (540) 545-7238.
Easter Seal Camps: Camp without Barriers for Children and Adults with Disabilities
Easter Seals offers nationwide camping and recreational programs for children and adults with various disabilities. More than 140 facilities across the United States provide accessible settings so that everyone can enjoy the thrill and challenges of summer camping. Easter Seals camping and recreation programs provide an opportunity for children and adults to participate in extracurricular, educational and personal development activities.
Easter Seals offers three types of camping programs: day camps, residential camps and respite camps. Each camp is designed to meet all needs of the camper.
For more information, reach Easter Seals by phone or fax:
(312) 726-6200 (voice)
(312) 726-4258 (tty)
(312) 726-1494 (fax)
(800) 221-6827 (toll-free)
Located in Purdy, MO, Camp Barnabas is a non-denominational Christian Summer Camp where special needs children and their siblings experience an awesome, life-changing week of camp.
For more information:
Paul & Cyndy Teas
Route 2, Box 131
Purdy, MO 65734
Camp C.A.M.P.: Children's Association for Maximum Potential
Located in Center Point, Texas, C.A.M.P. offers camping experiences for children and adolescents with physical and/or mental disabilities.
Many activities are offered at C.A.M.P., such as archery, field sports, horseback riding, crafts and dance.
C.A.M.P.'s costs are based on an adjusted fee scale (called a campership). Also, siblings (with or without disabilities) can attend. For more information, call (210) 292-3566 or visit the C.A.M.P. Web site.
Camp Cheerful is Ohio's first camp for people with disabilities. One-week sessions are offered throughout the summer from June to August. Campers are offered activities such as basketball, challenge courses, nature studies, and ceramics.
For more information:
15000 Cheerful Lane
Strongsville, OH, 44136 USA
Phone: (440) 238-6200
Each season Camp Krem provides summer camp for more than 500 children and adults with developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy. On a daily basis, campers, together with counselors, create their own experiences as their abilities grow. Campers can choose from Main (traditional) Camp, Outdoor Camp or Travel Camps. They can set their own pace select from the activities offered them.
Camping Unlimited's year-round activity programs and travel camps operate from September through May. Some activities are day trips. Others can last up to 12 days. Children and adults of all ages and disabilities, along with volunteer counselors, participate in activities, which include camping and backpacking trips, visits to the snow country, trips to the beach and to state and community parks. They also visit museums, cultural fairs, go on fishing trips and attend movies, theatrical or sporting events. During the summer, five Camping Unlimited travel camps journey throughout California, Nevada and Washington State.
To learn more about Camping Unlimited, contact:
P.O. Box 20774
El Sobrante, CA 94820
Phone: (510) 222-6662
Courage Camps offer safe, accessible, natural environments where children and adults with physical disabilities, sensory and language impairments, and other disabilities or illnesses discover abilities they never knew they had or they thought they had lost. Campers make new friends, and are often introduced to sports or hobbies they develop further at home or at school. Their self confidence grows and their attitudes improve. Speech/language services are available at Courage Camp for campers on the active caseload of a school Speech/Language Pathologist.
For more information, visit the Courage Camp Web site.
National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD)
In the heart of the Rockies, you will find Winter Park, Colorado, the home of the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Through NSCD summer programs, both children and adults with disabilities will find opportunities to participate in recreational and sport programs.
Programs include mountain biking, adaptive biking, tandem cycling, hiking, sailing, white-water rafting, rock climbing, and several more challenging activities.
Summer Camps include:
- COLORADO ROCKIES BASEBALL CAMP
The NSCD, the Colorado Rockies, and Denver Parks and Recreation Special Needs Program will host a baseball clinic for individuals with disabilities ages 5 to 18 at the Colorado Rockies All Star Field. The camps are perfect for anyone interested in learning about baseball, developing a new skill, or just having fun! The day includes instruction, equipment, prizes, games, and pizza. Individuals and groups are welcome, so join us for some all-American fun in the sun!
- ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES CAMP
Adults with developmental disabilities will spend 5 days meeting new people and learning new things when involved in daily adventures like river rafting, cycling, hiking, kayaking, and group activities, including camping, under the stars.
- CULTURAL EXCHANGE FOR TEENS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES CAMP
Teens age 14-17 from various countries will join together in a week long outdoor gathering at NSCD's accessible campground that will include activities to stimulate social, cultural, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. Horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, cycling, hiking, cultural exchange activities, group meals and more will all take place.
For more information:
National Sports Center for the Disabled
P.O. Box 1290
Winter Park, Colorado 80482
Phone: (970) 726-1540 or (303) 316-1540
Fax: (970) 726-4112
633 17th Street, #24
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 293-5711
Fax: (303) 293-5448
Special Camp for Special Kids
Special Camp was created in 1992 to meet a growing need in Southern California for summer camp opportunities for children with disabilities, especially in South Orange County. Since its inception special Camp has expanded its reach annually, touching the lives of more than 1,000 youths with disabilities and more than 1,500 volunteer counselors.
For more information contact Special Camp or visit their Web site.
Kyle Garrity, Executive Director
Phone: (949) 661-0108
Wonderland Camp is located in Rocky Mount, Missouri. Wonderland offers camp sessions for people with varying ages and disabilities.
Throughout the week, campers participate in a variety of activities including crafts, music, hiking, swimming, boating, campfires, fishing, and many more.
Wonderland's staff assists the campers and helps them with their daily needs. In addition, they encourage all campers to try as many different activities as possible.
For more information, contact:
18591 Miller Circle
Rocky Mount, MO 65072
Phone: (573) 392-1000
ONLINE CAMP RESOURCES
Adaptive Adventures takes pride in creating sports & recreation opportunities for youth by providing access to the outdoors and helping families work toward inclusion in their local communities.
We maintain and grow an extensive inventory of adaptive sports equipment to accommodate the growing number of youth participants in our programs.
For a list of camps and activities around the U.S., visit the Adaptive Adventures Web site.
Camp Channel: Bringing Summer Camps to the Internet
This Web site features an interactive search engine which assists the individual in finding the right camp taking into consideration all the qualities and activities that are preferred. Individuals are also given the option to browse the Camp Channel database according to: U.S. States, U.S. Regions, Canadian Provinces, Camps around the World, Day Camps, Adult Camps, Travel-Adventure Camps, plus Family Camps/Retreats.
For more information, visit the Camp Channel Web site or send an e-mail.
Kidscamps.com is a Web site specializing in several different camps for children and adolescents with disabilities. Camps for various disabilities include: burn, epilepsy, physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, visual impairments, and others. The camps range from overnight to day camps. Visit www.kidscamps.com for more information.
Online Summer Camps from ADHD.com
Therapy/Respite Camps for Kids
More information on this and related topics may be available in the NCPAD Accessible Programs Database. To use this online feature, please refer to the following steps:
NCPAD Search Engine:
- Visit the NCPAD Web site
- Click on the SEARCH link at the top of the page.
- Click on "Start Searching the NCPAD database".
- Select the second option," Search for accessible recreation and fitness programs. Narrow your search for programs in your area by entering City and/ or State. Try searching with keywords: "camps", "summer camps", or "special needs camps".
- Click on the Search button.
- A list of programs/organizations will be generated. Camps are usually the first on the list.
The information provided here is offered as a service only. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, University of Illinois at Chicago, the National Center on Accessibility, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago do not formally recommend or endorse the equipment listed. As with any products or services, consumers should investigate and determine on their own which equipment best fits their needs and budget.