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Special Camps provides opportunities for kids and adults with intellectual disabilities to experience new activities, form friendships, increase independence and build self-esteem in week long, overnight camps.

Camp encourages the development of social skills through interactive activities alongside a teen volunteer in a structured setting, under adult supervision. Parties every evening include hayrides, bingo, campfire songs, dancing and more.

Special Camps provides training for its volunteers. At camp, volunteers develop leadership skills while gaining insight into the lives of special needs individuals. Volunteers have unique opportunities to learn from the campers they play, and live along side, that can lead to personal and professional growth.

Special Camps provides weeklong respite to families and caregivers. Raising a child with special needs can be a very rewarding experience, but also requires life-long care and often financial challenges. That’s why Special Camps provides scholarships for any camper in need. Campers who are able, pay $350 for their one week stay at camp. Those in need should inquire, as a few scholarships may be available.


  • Sandra Sameshima says:

    Hi Colleen,
    My husband and I met you at the Opportunity Fair at Lyons Township HS on October 21st. We are interested in sending our 16 year old son, Dylan to your camp this summer. Dylan has autism, OCD, anxiety and also has food intolerance’s. We would need to send food with him for the week. Please let me know how and when to sign our son up for your camp for this summer.
    Thank you,
    Sandy Sameshima (Dylan’s mom)

    • Hi Sandra,

      The Special Camps camper applications have just been posted. We’d love to hear more about your son. Bringing food from home is fine. I can give you a copy of the menu so that you can supplement to our menu for Dylan.
      Qualifications: Intellectual Disability, not have behaviors that are too challenging for a teen camp counselor, and are independent in toileting. Please let me know if I can help answer any questions or if you’d like an application mailed to the home. Colleen

    • Hi!

      Applications for Special Camps are now online. If you’d prefer one be mailed, please let me know. Hope we see you there! Colleen

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