Over the past year, I’ve noticed that one of my most popular posts was when I provided a list of summer camps for special needs children. Since the need is there, I’ve compiled a list again this year, with links to either the Web sites for the camp or to earlier blog entries explaining the camp in more detail. If you’re looking for a listing that includes summer camps designed for kiddos with other special needs in mind, check out the March-April 2012 issue of Parenting Children with Special Needs: there’s an impressive listing starting on page 12.
The camps I’ve found are grouped by state below; I’ll try to update this post regularly with any new camps I find.
Accelerated Schools of Overland Park is offering both “individualized high school credit classes in math, science, English, Spanish, social studies, health and art” and a summer camp for younger kiddos “where they spend part of the morning focusing on individualized academic tutoring and part time in creative classes such as art and digital photography.” Find out more by visiting their Web site (scroll down once you’re on the site) at http://acceleratedschoolsop.org/
Children’s Therapy Group is offering a variety of summer groups targeted towards handwriting improvement, fine motor enhancement, sensory integration, social language development and friendship development. Get more information at http://childrenstherapygroup.org/page7.html. They are located in Overland Park.
Clo’s Midnight Farm offers a variety of summer camps for kids with and without special needs; they’ve also got therapeutic riding services during the regular year for special-needs kids. (I volunteered with a therapeutic riding program while I was in grad school; it’s amazing what kids can accomplish from the back of a horse, and it’s impressive the good it can do them, regardless of their ability level. Even kiddos in wheelchairs can ride horses–I encourage you to check it out, regardless of what your kiddo’s special needs may be.) Learn more at http://www.midnight-farm.org/index.html. Clo’s Midnight Farm is in Baldwin City.
Girl Scouts of Kansas and Missouri has a variety of camps that may be suitable for children with special needs–they include family camps and mother-daughter camps. Get more info at https://www.girlscoutsksmo.org/programs/camping/Summer-Camp/Pages/default.aspx
Per the June 2012 issue of The Braille Forum, the “Carroll Center for the Blind will host an Accessible IOS App Camp” at their center in Newton, Massachusetts from August 13-17. The camp is designed for “middle- and high-school-aged students who are blind or visually impaired. No experience with Apple products is necessary; training will include hands-on instruction geared to assist with multiple devices.” Their Web site is at http://carroll.org/ . For more information about the program, contact Dina.Rosenbaum (at) carroll.org
Alphapointe Adventure Camp runs from July 9-13 at Camp Lake of the Woods in Kansas City, Missouri. As explained on their Web site, the camp “is for children with vision impairment ages 9-14 years. The day camp experience introduces kids to a variety of traditional outdoor camp experiences, but specifically focuses on particular needs & considerations for youth with vision impairment. Campers are taught outdoor and recreational skills to complement their knowledge of the natural world. Campers will experience cookouts, creative arts, canoeing, hiking, swimming, a ropes course, and much more. They have the chance to practice functional, social, mobility, and independent living skills while all the while forming friendships and having fun! Kids learn FUNdamental skills that help them Learn, Play and Grow in a camp atmosphere. Camp helps kids learn independence and social skills to develop into successful adults.” Learn more at http://www.alphapointe.org/Summer%20Camps
Alphapointe Technology Camp runs from July 30 to August 3 at Alphapointe in Kansas City, Missouri. This camp is for middle- and high-school-age children with vision loss; they “will learn to utilize various technology initiatives to navigate the internet, utilize the Apple iPad with Zoom & VoiceOver applications, access eBooks, and iTunes among other applications. Campers will also become familiarized with social networking. Campers will also have an opportunity to meet and work with a variety of mentors who have successfully utilized technology in their chosen careers or to attend college. Each camper will receive a free gift for completing the week long camp.” Learn more at http://www.alphapointe.org/Summer%20Camps
Boy Scout Rotary Scout Camp “offers a long term Scout camp experience to Boy Scouts with special needs who otherwise would not be able to participate in a traditional long-term camp. This camp is designed to help special needs Scouts with their advancement in Scouting.” You do have to be a Scout to participate; the camp is located in Lee’s Summit. Learn more at http://hoac-bsa.org/Camping/BoyScoutSummerCamp/RotaryCamp.aspx
Girl Scouts of Kansas and Missouri has a variety of camps that may be suitable for children with special needs–they include family camps and mother-daughter camps. Get more info at https://www.girlscoutsksmo.org/programs/camping/Summer-Camp/Pages/default.aspx. Juliette Low Camp is for girls ages 8-18 with physical disabilities and girls in grades 4-7 without disabilities (based on space); information on that program is available at https://www.girlscoutsksmo.org/programs/camping/Summer-Camp/Pages/Juliette-Low-Camp.aspx
The Marian Hope Center for Children’s Therapy in Independence, Missouri, is offering a variety of summer classes for children with special needs and their peers. None are specificially designed for B/VI children, but my impression is that children of any abilities are welcome. You can find out the class schedule and learn more at their Web site, http://www.marianhopecenter.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=100&Itemid=92. Classes are offered from June 4 to August 9, 2012.
The Missouri School for the Blind is offering Explorations in STEM this summer. As explained on their Web site, “Missouri School for the Blind (MSB) is pleased to offer, free of charge, to Missouri students who are Blind or Visually Impaired in grades 5-8 two (2) summer sessions focused on developing students’ abilities to access Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) with increased independence. Summer STEM participants will work in collaborative teams to solve problems, explore concepts and develop scientific inquiry skills that can be transferred to the regular curriculum. In addition to organized STEM activities, participants will practice community-based Orientation and Mobility emphasizing the use of public transportation and safely accessing unfamiliar environments for both learning and leisure recreation. Students will have the opportunity to foster new friendships, and practice Activities of Daily Living skills designed to increase independence in the home environment.” Learn more at http://www.msb.dese.mo.gov/–the information on Explorations in STEM is in the right-side navigation bar.
SCAMPS Summer Day Camp is offered by Spofford Home. Their site notes that ” The SCAMPS curriculum is a progressive method designed to build social skills that require rehearsal and practice to master. Attendance for the entire six-week session is required. Staffing ratios are maintained at one staff member for every five children.” Find out more at http://www.spoffordhome.org/scamps.html.
Wonderland Camp in Lake of the Ozarks provides “a fun, educational summer camp experience for mentally and physically challenged individuals of all ages.” Learn more at http://wonderlandcamp.org/.
Camp Barnabas “exists to provide life-changing opportunities to people with special needs in a Christian camp setting.” They provide camps for children with a variety of special needs, and sometimes their siblings, at a variety of locations in the US. Camps for blind children are offered July 15-21, July 15-20, and August 1-6; siblings can attend all three camps. Find the 2012 Camper Schedule at http://campbarnabas.org/2012schedule
Last updated May 29, 2012