CT Summer Camps for Your Special Needs Child


By Julie Revelant

Summertime doesn’t mean your special kid should fall back on the progress he’s made throughout the year or miss out on all the fun the other kids are having. There are a host of camps in the area who have programs and facilities specially tailored to the special needs kid. Here are a few:

Camp Harkness
Set on the grounds of Harkness Memorial Park on the Long Island Sound, campers with developmental and intellectual disabilities experience traditional sleep away camp at a fully accessible facility. Activities include boating, horseback riding, fishing, arts and crafts, sports, performances, and special events. A day camp option is also available. Visit the site for information on how to enroll and cost.

301 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT (860) 443-7818

Camp Horizons
A traditional sleep away camp for children with developmental disabilities, Horizons has a 5:1 camper to counselor ratio and a variety of daytime programs and fun evening activities.  Children attend 7 programs each day that include horseback riding, arts and crafts, woodworking, swimming, volleyball, basketball, language arts, dance, music, drama, and pioneering.
A vocational training program that teaches campers important job skills is also available. Visit the site for information on how to enroll and cost.

127 Babcock Hill Road, South Windham, CT (860) 456-1032

Camp Isola Bella
Accredited by the American Camp Association, this sleep away camp for deaf children accommodates all campers regardless of their methods of communication. Located in the Berkshire Mountains, a special emphasis is placed on sports and recreation through leadership and literacy activities. Activities include swimming, canoeing and sailing, water skiing, archery, hiking, and arts and crafts. The camp also accepts children of deaf adults and children with deaf siblings. Visit the site for information on how to enroll and cost.

410 Twin Lakes Road, Taconic, CT (860) 824-5558

Easter Seals Camp Hemlocks
Children with various types of disabilities are able to enjoy a traditional summer camp experience. Located on 100 acres of woodlands, the fully accessible facility offers a variety of programs like boating and fishing, arts and crafts, drama, and one-on-one swimming in the heated underground pool. Kids also get to enjoy the low ropes course and climbing tower.
Both traditional overnight and day camp options are available. Visit the site for information on how to enroll and cost.

85 Jones Street, Amston, CT (860) 228-9496

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
Founded by Paul Newman, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp offers children with serious medical conditions and life threatening illnesses a traditional camp experience at no cost. With doctors and nurses on the premises, campers receive the medical attention they need. Activities include archery, sports, boating, fishing, horseback riding, arts and crafts and theater. Camp is also offered during weekends throughout the year. Visit the site for information on how to enroll and cost.

565 Ashford Center Road, Ashford, CT (860) 429-3444

Photo credit: Worakit Sirijinda

(Updated 2/18/13)


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