Special Camps Information and Registration

Completion of this online application will expedite your application process, but your spot is not reserved until your application is acknowledged as received and your payment has been made. You must also complete, sign, and mail in the complete registration packet below in order for your camper to be eligible. All Campers, Staff, and Volunteers are also required to complete the WHITE PINES REQUIRED FORMS in full and submit via mail 30 days before the first day of camp.



Special Camps provides opportunity for new friendships, while encouraging independence and self-esteem in an all volunteer run camp to benefit children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Sunday -Friday, June 3 –8, for adults ages 21+
Sunday –Friday, June 10 –15, for kids ages 8 -21

Special Camps at White Pines Ranch, Oregon, IL
Special Camps will be hosted at White Pines Ranch in Oregon, IL. White Pines Ranch is located about 30 minutes West of DeKalb. It will be a true dude Ranch experience! White Pines Ranch has over 75 specially selected, gentle horses for our campers to groom, do lead arounds and trail rides. Dorm rooms are carpeted, air conditioned and have attached bathroom / shower area. Photos + Camp Movie can be found @ specialcamps.org.

Day Time Activities: Grooming, Painting and Riding Horses, Swimming, Water Games, Crafts, Music + Dance, Sports, Archery, Field Games, Wood Working, Talent Shows and more.

Evening Acitivies: Bon fire with camp songs & S’mores, hay ride, Bingo, Kareoke, Dances and a visit from the Blooze Brothers.

Our All Volunteer Staff are carefully screened. Most are veterans of our all volunteer camp. Staff attend a thorough training period to learn through practice how to provide personal care. Registered nurses are on duty 24 hours a day to administer all medications and provide medical care.

This camp is exclusively for children and adults ages 8 and older, who have been diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, who meet the criteria for camp admission.

1.Campers should be capable of responding to staff with a verbal, audible, or physical response.
2. Campers must be able to adapt to a group living environment, including sleeping in a cabin next to others with out disturbing others, following directions, and enjoying meals with others.
3. Campers must be independent in toileting.
4.The applicant must not be abusive toward him / herself or others or have inappropriate sexual behavior.
5.Campers must provide all required medical information to determine the appropriateness of the camper’s admission. The Supervising Camp Nurse will review all health forms to determine eligibility.
6. Special diets are accommodated through family packing supplemental foods.

Applications will not be accepted without a Special Camps health form signed by your doctor. If your child takes no medication or supplements,
we will accept our health form, a school or Special Olympics physical or group home have physicians orders, dated August, 2017 or later. Please complete and include the Special Camps health form too as the nurses will keep this information with them.

INSURANCE – All campers are required to show proof of medical coverage in effect.
TRANSPORTATION – You are responsible for bringing your child to camp. Special Camps will offer FREE bussing home to Warrenville off I88 or Plano High School. The large coach bus has a bathroom aboard, but will not be able to accommodate wheelchairs.
CLOTHING – Older clothes are great for camping. A list of suggested clothing will be included in the confirmation packet and is listed on our website.
VISITORS – Family members and friends are welcome to visit on opening and closing days. Visitors at other times can disrupt a camper’s schedule and cause him/ her to miss a favorite activity and cause homesickness.
Campers accepted based on qualifications and
AVAILABILITY OF STAFF – Special Camps reserves the right to accept or deny applicants on–site or prior to attendance and will be the party responsible for acceptance or denial. Acceptance into Special Camps is the same for all applicants without regard to sex, race, disability, religion or social background.

I hope you grow to love Special Camps as much as our volunteers and I love bringing this wonderful opportunity to our great campers. Please feel free to call me with any questions.

Sincerely yours,
Colleen McDonald
Camp Director for Special Camps
(630) 690-0944

Camper Registration

  • Camper Information

    The more we know about each prospective camper before arrival, the better able we will be to provide the best camping experience possible. Please include any additional information which you feel would be beneficial. Thank you for filling the form out in completion.

  • Please specify any physical or mental hadicaps
  • pressure sores, rashes, recent infections etc.
  • Check all that apply
  • Describe additional special needs or considerations

  • Does applicant have any behavior problems (Biting, kicking, hitting, running off, tantrums, etc.)
    If yes, please describe and list management techniques, if any, and frequency of behavior.
    Please Note: Failure to accurately describe behavior problem/information may cause improper placement with appropriate counselor/staff and may be subject to early dismissal from program.
  • Please list any special interests or activities enjoyed at home, school or work.
  • Has your child ever participated in horse back riding activities? If so, please describe level of comfort or experience.
    FREE transportation available via a large Coach Party Bus home only from camp. White Pines is 30 minutes west of DeKalb in Oregon, IL, (about 2 hours West of Chicago). Must arrange transport to camp.

    Please Complete ONLY If You Are NEW To Special Camps