During the next few months, children and adults alike will be making a new home away from home at summer camps around the country. While most camps may not be ideal or accessible for people of all abilities, there are several that have adapted to meet the needs of everyone who wishes to go. While accommodations vary, most camps offer a wide variety of accessible games and activities as well as trained nurses or staff who will teach children the best ways to complete daily tasks. They will also be in an environment where their fellow campers understand the challenges that are presented every day, offering the opportunity to create unique friendships. Below is a list of just a few accessible camps offered around the country to begin your search.
- Easter Seals
Easter Seals just celebrated their 100th anniversary and today serves over one million families and people annually with a disability. They focus their camps on meeting the needs of children and adults with disabilities through trained counselors who push them to their limits.
- SeriousFun Children’s Network
Founded by Paul Newman over 30 years ago, these programs are offered free of charge to children to get away from serious illness and the accompanying stigma. There are 30 camps around the world which focus on creating independence and boosting self-esteem in children.
- Camp No Limits
This camp was founded in 2004 and focuses on supporting and empowering those born with limb differences. Several locations across the country offer camps during several months throughout the year, offering both summer and winter sporting activities.
- National Ability Center
The National Ability Center is only located in Utah, but is a global leader in adaptive recreation and sports. They offer a 26-acre fully accessible facility, more than 12 adaptive recreational programs, and have accommodated over 100 different disabilities. In the last three years alone, participants and their families completed over 37,000 lessons at their outdoor center. Every year, 1,700 volunteers contribute more than 32,000 hours, many of whom have disabilities of their own and are able to connect to the participants.
- Camp Greentop
This camp is for children or adults with physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities. They offer several options for their camps, including weekend retreats for families as well as overnight, winter, sailing, and travel camps. They help more than 2,000 people every year achieve independence through the variety of programs and services offered.
- Breakaway Summer Camp
Hosted by Lift Disability Network, this summer camp is meant to pamper families impacted by a variety of disabilities. In addition to their camp, LDN offers monthly events and services for the families of those whose loved one is impacted by a disability.
There are dozens more options located throughout the US and Canada, many open to only residents of the states they’re located in. While some are only open to individuals with specific disabilities, many are open to accommodating everyone. Regardless of where you choose to go, they all offer an incredible chance for people to spend time with campers and counselors who understand their needs and will work to ensure they have a safe and exciting experience.