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(For High School + College Aged Volunteers).

Special Camps 2024 Camp Counselor Registration has begun!

Special Camps is now accepting applications for it’s all volunteer, summer camp for kids + adults with intellectual disabilities. To apply you must have completed ninth grade by June, 2024 and be committed to spending 1 full week at camp.

Please complete the new online application  with a parent below + then help us spread the word to your friends! Please complete as soon as possible as some positions fill quickly.

We will be renting Camp Red Leaf in Ingleside, IL this year. It is located about 1 hour,15 minutes from west suburbs of Chicago near I 355 , in the Chain -o-Lakes area. We encourage volunteers to carpool with others from your school, as parking is limited.

There will be two sessions:

  • Session 1. Sunday – Friday, June 2– 7 for adult campers
  • Session 2. Sunday – Friday, June 9 – 14 for school aged campers.
  • Cost: FREE!

Orientation and training will be held Sunday at the camp before campers arrive.

We’ll have so much fun side by side doing all the great activities alongside the campers whom will be our best friends at camp. We’ll swim, fish and canoe, complete crafts, sports, archery, field games, yoga,  explore a tree house and complete low and high ropes course with a climbing wall and a very high zip line alongside our special needs campers. The dorm rooms are clean and air conditioned..

As a camp counselor, you will be a best friend, teacher and coach to usually 2 campers with intellectual disabilities. A few campers also have physicals disabilities. Our campers are pretty independent in caring for their daily needs, but some need help with verbal directions on brushing teeth, or help tying their shoes. Needed are 90  camp counselors between the 2 weeks. It’s a very rewarding experience and an opportunity to make some great new friends. Returning camp counselors call this a “life changing experience”, they can’t wait to return.

Counselors get free time to hang out with our other extraordinary teen counselors directly after lunch and after 9pm. Adult supervision is provided.

Please feel free to call, email or text Colleen McDonald with any questions you or your family may have @ /  (63o) 690-0944.

Camp Counselor Registration

If for any reason your browser gets stuck or you can’t get started… or you’ve spent more than 10 minutes trying to get registered, please give me a call. Within 10 minutes you’ll be registered! (630) 690-0944.

Please follow the online registration process  below. There is an odd glitch to the online application.  If you run into any struggles, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’d be happy to walk you through the process.

Click the button below to begin your registration process. Email Colleen for assistance or for an access code


Counselors please complete the Counselor Application and the High Sierra Adventure Course Medical Form with a parent or guardian.

All forms MUST be viewed by all applicants. Please go to each section, even if it’s not for you, (like the Staff + Camper applications). Scroll down to the bottom of each.  Check I am not a camper or staff (example below), and sign it. Then press Continue.



When you have completed each section press “continue” and it will let you know you have registered for camp.

Need Some Help? Again, if for any reason it takes you and your parent more than 10 minutes… or doesn’t work at all for you, your not the only one. Please call Colleen any time before 10 pm at (630) 690-0944.

Colleen McDonald

Special Camps CEO, #30 years

26W684 Lindsey Avenue, Winfield, IL 60190

Cell; (630) 690-0944