If you know someone who has special needs, then consider taking them to a summer camp where they can experience many of the same activities that other children enjoy at a traditional camp. They can interact with others who are their age and talk with the counselors. There is often a schedule for each day so that the campers know where they are supposed to be and what they will be doing, a benefit for those who rely on set times and coordination.
Many camps for those who have special needs, such as Camp Barnabas at Teas Trail, don’t have as many restrictions as to the ages of the campers. They usually have weeks for younger children and weeks when older teenagers and adults can attend the camp. There is often a wide range of disabilities including autism, down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Campers will usually stay in a cabin where they will often have their own bed. There are typically more workers at a special needs camp to ensure that everyone is safe and to ensure that there are no medical emergencies. Counselors will often assist with showers, feeding, and dressing as needed. Some of the campers discover that they can do more on their own than they thought that they could simply because they are given the opportunity to try.
While at a special needs camp, campers can usually compete in events that include swimming or another type of sport that they enjoy. They can make crafts or sing. Three meals a day are usually served at most camps unless campers are only there during the day. Snacks are often served as well. Campers get to meet others who have the same disabilities that they have. They get to talk about their day and what they are able to do and what they can’t do at home. It’s a time when they can enjoy the company of someone who sees life through their eyes.
A benefit of a special needs camp is that it allows time for family members and healthcare workers to take a short break while the campers are away from home. There is often a special program where the campers can show their family members what they have done during the week. Many activities take place at a slower pace, but the campers know that they are with counselors who will provide the support and encouragement that they need while also having a lot of fun.