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Youth Programs and Summer Camps for Kids

young girl climbing rock wallFinding the Right Camp

Decide early in the process what type of program you want for your child. Camp should be fun, relaxing, and healthy. Camp should offer positive and rewarding experiences that foster independence and self-esteem. Some camps are for military children. Some camps are free. Some camps offer scholarships. Some camps are specifically for children with special needs.

Making Camp Work for Your Child. This article,from the National Resource Center on AD/HD, a program of CHADD, describes how proper planning can make most summer camps work for children with AD/HD. The first step is to find a camp that works. The NRC offers some guidance on this in the FAQ Can You Help Me Find a Summer Camp for my Child?

Finding a Camp for Kids with Special Needs. Trying to figure out which camp is best? Whatever the special need, there's likely a camp out there to suit your child.

Tips for Finding a Summer Camp for Your LD Child. How do you find a camp that will best nurture your child? Ann Cathcart, founder of The Learning Camp and the mother of a child with a learning disability, suggests that you take the time to talk with the camp director at length, ask for references, and talk to other parents who have sent their children there.

Discover Camp - What Questions to Ask. Discover Camp is a resource for parents of children with disabilities selecting a camp for their child for the first time.

Gearing up for Camp: A Primer for Parents of Children with Disabilities.

The Special Needs Camp Guide from the Military Special Needs Network. Where to Go, What to Bring, What you Need to Know Now! Considering Camp as an ESY Accommodation? Comprehensive Camp Directory Featuring Camps in All 50 States.

Sending a 2e kiddo to Camp? Not a comprehensive list nor camps we endorse. Just to get you started on your search for camps for twice-exceptional kids.

Summer Activities for Kids with Learning Disabilities from the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Stopping the Summer Slide - Summer Reading

Summer reading can bridge the gap over the school holiday when kids can forget up to 30% of what they learned during the school year.

National Summer Learning Association - Know the Facts. To succeed in school and life, children need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. This is especially true during the summer months. .

Summer Reading Challenges - NSLA.

10 Weeks of summer reading adventures for you and your kid from Reading Rockets.

DoD/Military Summer Reading Program for children, teens and adults.

American Library Association Summer Reading Programs fact sheet.

Let's Read! Let's Move! - Help to prevent summer learning loss by helping kids to read during the summer months.

Reading is Fundamental - Summer Reading Resources. By the end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer will be 2 years behind their classmates.

Avoid summer brain drain - kid friendly interactive e-learning.

Summertime and the Learning is Easy. Make reading a priority, and don't forget about writing.

Resources and Directories

Camps for Children with Special Needs. The National Dissemination Center for Children with Special Needs (NICHCY) provides this quick connect to camps and summer opportunities (May 2013).

Summer Camps for Kids with AD/HD from About.com.

NAGC’s listing of summer opportunities for gifted kids.

Camp Dream - GA. Georgia Jaycees in partnership with the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation designed and built Camp Dream to be barrier-free for people of all ages with a wide variety of disabilities and severity levels.

Surfers Healing Campvideo - Day camps nationwide for children with autism where kids and their families experience the joys of surfing. Amazing!

Schedule and signup 2014 or volunteer to help or donate scholarships. Surf Camp for Kids with Autism.

Camp Guides and Resources from the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability.

NCPAD Directory of Programs for people with disabilities and health conditions, including camps, therapeutic recreation, and adapted PE programs. Browse the programs by name, state or country, or you can search by a specific zip code and list only the programs closest to you.

NCPAD Fun and Leisure: Camp Resources Fact Sheet

ADHD-LD Summer Camp Guide. Learn how specialized camps can benefit your child, and search the camp programs listed in our ADHD Summer Camp Directory.

National Directory of Day and Residential Camps, Camp Easter Seals.

American Camp Association - Find a Camp.

SOAR, Inc. is a non-profit wilderness adventure program for AD/HD and LD youth.

Christian Camping International (CCCA) provides valuable resources both for those seeking a Christian camping experience and for those who are leaders at Christian camp/conference ministries.

My Summer Camps.com includes a listing for Special Needs Camps.

KidsCamps.com includes a directory listing for Special Needs Camps and Military Camps.

CampSpecialists.com - summer camp referral program.

Allen's Guide is a summer camps directory where you can follow the link listed to the camp's own website. This directory includes a listing of special needs programs.

Very Special Camps is an online directory by state of camps and programs for people with a wide range of special needs.

Top Summer Camps for Gifted Children from the Gifted Children Guide at About.com. These camps, often sponsored by universities or gifted organizations, offer courses providing in-depth study of a variety of subjects.

Special Needs Summer Camps. Finding a summer program that suits your child's special needs - listings will direct you to programs that cater to children like yours, and help you get your child ready.

YMCA Camp Search. YMCA summer camp, sleep-away camp, overnight camp -- whatever you call it, the YMCA has been doing it for more than 130 years! We have terrific Y camp locations all across the United States.

Camp Kekoka on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, VA Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

Bridges4Kids has a comprehensive listing of Summer Camps for MI and across the nation.

Therapy/respite Camps for Kids. Helpful resources about summer camps that focus on therapy for kids with special needs and/or respite for the kids and their families from Kris Moore's dad.

ADHD Summer Enrichment Camp at the Leelanau School. Introductory program from July 18-23 intended for students entering grades 5 through 12 and their parents.

Camp T.A.L.K (SC) is an inclusive social skills day camp for children ages 10 and up with a focus on students who have a diagnosis of Asperger's Autism or PDD-NOS. Check out Camp T.A.L.K. Extreme for ages 15 through college age ASD students.

Programs for Military Kids

5 Ways to Keep Summer Camp Affordable from Military.com. (July 23, 2012)

Operation: Military Kids (OMK) is the U.S. Army's collaborative effort with America's communities to support the children and youth impacted by deployment. 

Operation Military Kids has partnered with National 4-H Clubs, state universities, Boys and Girls Clubs, Cooperative Extension Services, YMCA, Boy Scouts, and many more to offer free summer camps to military kids across the nation. Go to Operation Military Kids and click on your state to find programs available in your area.

Operation Purple Summer Camps for Military ChildrenOperation Purple Camps, a program of the National Military Family Association, offer a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed..

Space Camp scholarship from The Military Child Education Coalition that funds The Bernard Curtis Brown II Memorial covering full tuition, round trip transportation (from student’s home base to Space Camp), meals, lodging and program materials.

Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP), Lackland Air Force Base, began when a group of Air Force physicians realized how important a camping experience could be to their pediatric patients with special needs.  Founded in 1979, CAMP was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1980. Today, children and adults with disabilities and special health care needs (the majority from Texas, from across the U.S., and beyond) attend week-long camping sessions held each summer from May through August.

Department of Defense Summer Camp Experiences. Contact your local Child,Youth and Family Services Office for information on summer camps and programs.

Camp Corral is an amazing week of non-stop fun and excitement in the great outdoors for the children of our American military heroes.

The ACT Today for Military Families, a dedicated fund to assist military families impacted by autism on a quarterly basis. Previous grants awarded have included funding for quality of life supports (including music therapy, social skills groups, summer camps, etc.). More info/application.

Operation Appreciation: Blue Star Museums, offers active duty service members, including activated Guard and Reserve, and up to five of their immediate Family members free admission to participating museums from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Over 600 museums in 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the program.

American Wanderer RV Camps for Kids, American Wanderer Foundation offers some scholarships for military kids.

Our Military Kids provides grants for sports, fine arts, camps, and tutoring programs.

Military Teen Adventure Camps. Check out the list of Camps by Date or Camps by Location.

Summer Planning from MilitaryOneSource*

Summer Camp Locator - locate a camp designed especially for military kids. Parents can also call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 to request a customized report.

Keeping Your Kids Active This Summer 2011

Summer Planning for Children with Special Needs

Choosing a Summer Day Camp

Choosing and Preparing for Summer Overnight Camp

Planning Your School-Age Child's Summer

Summer Opportunities for Teenagers

*You must first register and login to http://www.militaryonesource.com before being able to access this premium, free content from Military One Source Online.

 

Updated 03/31/14

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