Within Garden City you have a few mainstream options, click each for details, prices and age limits. Should a student require extra support to participate in any of these GC programs, please contact the respective person in charge.
ANCHOR (Answering the Needs of Citizens with Handicaps through Organized Recreaction) is a year-round recreation program dedicated to children and adults with special needs who reside in the Town of Hempstead. Anchor offers a 6-week daily summer recreation program in Lido Beach, NY for all participants. The program is Monday-Friday and provides transportation. Some activities provided are sports, arts & crafts, home economics, drama, ocean, pool, clubs, dance, music, etc. Participants are grouped based on age, needs and abilities. There are currently 32 different summer groups. *Please note that at this time the wait list is about 7 years! Click here if you wish to file an application or call 516-431-6946 for more information.
Based at the Friedberg JCC in Oceanside, it is designed for children ages 5–13 on the autism spectrum and for those with learning and speech disabilities. Campers will participate in a range of daily activities that foster socialization, independence and skill building. Click here for more information.
Camp Achieve (Pennsylvania)
The Epilepsy Foundation Eastern PA believes no child should feel alone, ostracized or unsafe because of their epilepsy. We strive to alleviate the stresses and fears that many children with epilepsy suffer from by providing them access to all of the life experiences they deserve. Camp Achieve is key to accomplishing this goal. From its humble beginnings 18 years ago, Camp Achieve has become a uniquely designed program tailored to the special needs of youths with epilepsy. Applications are open for any child aged 8 to 17 with a primary diagnosis of epilepsy. Campers are expected to be able to perform all activities of daily living independently. All applications are submitted to a medical committee to review a camper’s eligibility. Click here for details.
Camp Adler – Mid-Island Y JCC
Their goal is to create a fun, nurturing and supportive environment with typical day camp activities, both in-building at the MIYJCC and at their Offsite Camp, where campers are assisted by our professional staff to develop skills, build self-confidence and make lasting friendships. Inclusion Programs are designed for campers who have had success in a partial or full-inclusion environment with shared support. Click here for details.
Exceptional Citizens Week – at Camp Fatima located in New Hampshire, provides a one week camping experience for more than 100 boys and girls with mild to moderate mental disabilities. All activities are centered around their interests and they are catered to by a qualified, enthusiastic and energetic volunteer staff. The program helps campers make new friends, enjoy outdoor activities, develop new skills, and build self-confidence. The camp is funded by contributions and is entirely free to participants. Open to boys and girls ages 9 and up with a camper to staff ratio of 4-to-1. For more information click here or contact Michael Drumm at the camp office to receive more information.
Camp Huntington, located in High Falls, NY offers therapeutic recreation programs during summer and weekends for individuals with developmental disabilities. At Camp Huntington, they are cognizant of the need to both provide a safe and fun environment for our campers to spend the summer, but also to work on skill acquisition and achieving goals that will increase independence upon returning to their community. Our uniquely designed program contains specific approaches that meet the needs of a wide variety of individuals with special needs. The program is centered around three specific goals; participation, recreation and independence. Call 855-707-CAMP (2267) or click here for details on their summer and weekend programs.
Camp Kehilla (Part of the Sid Jacobson JCC)
Over the last 20 years, Camp Kehilla has continued to initiate new opportunities and experiences for Special Needs campers while maintaining our trademark integrity and passion. The day program includes: activities tailored to youth and young adults with a variety of special needs. A core focus on building social skills, lasting friendships, and self-esteem. A comprehensive vocation experiences for older participants. Bus Transportation from Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens. Kosher, nut free hot lunch options for an additional fee. Daily snack. Newly built air-conditioned sports complex, outdoor fields for all sports, nature trails, multiple playgrounds, and four Olympic-sized swimming pools at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds. For details visit www.campkehilla.org
The Marion & Aaron Gural JCC Camp Friendship provides quality care and fun utilizing the resources of the William L. Buck School and North Woodmere Park, weather permitting. The JCC provides a safe environment for our sports, swimming, arts, drama and music curriculum. Your child will be able to participate in summer events and enjoy group activities with peers. This is a 4 week program from 11:00am-3:00pm daily. Lunch is included. For additional information, please call 516-569-6733.
For more than 40 years, Camp Loyaltown has helped campers discover independence along with new strengths and experience the joys of friendship, fun and personal achievement free from challenges they face daily. Camp Loyaltown is a program of Citizens Options Unlimited, a leading provider of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For details, click here.
Camp Northstar was founded in 1998 by a small group of individuals wanting to provide a new and unique camping experience for children and adults with developmental disabilities. From the inception of Camp, camp has been staffed and run 100% by volunteers and campers and families have never been charged to attend camp. The Camp programs consist of a week long sleep away camp as well as respite and family weekends. Camp Northstar is located at Camp Quinipet on Shelter Island. Click here for details.
Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck’s mission is to help children and young adults ages 6-21 with both physical and developmental disabilities achieve equality, dignity, and maximum independence through a safe and quality program of camping, recreation, and education in a summer-time environment. Click here for details.
Founded in 1922 and located in Rhinebeck, New York, this sleepaway camp services at-risk and special needs kids ages 6-16. Participants do sports, swimming, arts and crafts, and have daily academic lessons in a therapeutic environment with a 1:1 counselor-to-camper ratio. The campers include children on the autistic spectrum, as well as those with other behavioral and emotional needs. Many of the kids are referred to the program by mental health professionals, and attend special education schools. A staff of mental health professionals supervises the counselors, who are studying psychology, education or related fields. For details visit www.ramapoforchildren.org.
Hofstra REACH Program
The REACH Program is an exciting opportunity for campers (2nd – 9th grade) with autism spectrum disorders and other special needs to experience Hofstra Specialty Camps with peers. The REACH Program provides a daily safe and positive setting for campers with disabilities to be included in Specialty Camps, activities, and enjoy peer interactions, with supports and/or modifications when necessary (not applicable to Sports Academy Camps). The REACH Program provides a perfect setting for ongoing interventions during the summer break. Campers have ample opportunities to generalize and enhance social and daily living skills. A consultation with the director of pupil services will determine acceptance in to the REACH Program. Space is extremely limited. To set up an appointment for consultation or for more information and tuition prices, please call the Camp Office at 516-463-2267, e-mail REACH@hofstra.edu. or visit their website.
NYU Child Study Center’s, Summer Program for Kids – The Summer Program for Kids (SPK) is a seven-week, all-day therapeutic program, devoted exclusively to 7-11 year old children with ADHD. In a camp-like atmosphere, children learn to improve their social behavior, academic competence, self esteem, anger control and classroom behavior. The program uses therapeutic strategies throughout every moment of the day geared specifically to the needs and deficits of these children. Weekly sessions with parents are a vital component of the program. The program runs for seven weeks starting the last week of June from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., and is located at The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY. Transportation is available from centrally located pick up and drop off points. Click here for more information.
The Southhampton Fresh Air Home (SFAH) – is one of the few residential camp facilities in the eastern United States that accommodates severely as well as mildly and moderately physically challenged children. SFAH provides an environment in which campers play, socialize, mature and develop physically, emotionally and psychologically. With its unique atmosphere and adapted programs, SFAH encourages self-confidence and new skills and attitudes, to enable its campers to live more rewarding lives. During their time at SFAH, they develop a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and a sense of equality. Click here for details.
Smuggler’s Notch Adaptive Program (SNAP) in Vermont – dedicated to providing therapeutic recreation for children and adults of all abilities in a supportive environment. Experiences are tailored to meet the needs and goals of each individual. The ratio of counselor to program guest is based on the individual needs of each person. They offer an Autism Mountain Camp at various points throughout the summer.
Theresa Academy of Performing Arts
Three weeks of daily Summer Camp for Children with Special Needs. Music, Dance, Art, Yoga, African Drumming, Games and Cooking. For more information visit www.TapaNY.org or call 516-432-0200.
The Tikvah Residential Program (at Camp Ramah)
Located in the Poconos, it offers campers ages 12-17 the complete scope of Ramah activities. They strive to serve campers with a wide range of disabilities, including developmental and intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and neurological impairments. Visit their website, call 215-885-8556, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
West Hills Day Camp
Gersh Academy, with over 10 years of experience operating schools for children with special needs, and West Hills Day Camp with over 60 years of experience in camping have joined forces to provide the ultimate summer camp program for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related neurobiological disorders. Children will have fun in a safe, nurturing environment that facilitates social skills and promotes personal growth under the supervision of fully qualified professionals. Gersh Academy at West Hills Day Camp in Huntington, NY ensures that all your child’s needs will be met by an educated, experienced and professional staff. Please contact 631-427-6700 or click here for more information
These are just a few local suggestions, click here for additional camp information.