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Summer camp ideas/cross posted


rmtzc2009
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I'm interested in your recommendations for summer camps. Below, I've listed some info about our family and what we're looking for.

 

Boys ages 11 & 13. Camps can be co-ed. We live in the Midwest but are willing to travel within the US. Both of my boys have ADHD. I've looked at camps marketed for boys with ADHD and they are out of our price range. My thought was smaller camps with a focus on building relationships and of course fun activities. My boys enjoy sports, rock climbing, outdoor activities. They aren't ready for kayaking trips and more intense outdoor experiences. 1-2 week camps are ideal.

 

Camps can be secular or Christian.

 

Hit me with your favorite summer camps pleas

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So, they've never been to camp before?

 

I'm happy with our local YMCA camp. Celery has gone 3 summers (one week each, not the entire summer) and one winter weekend. For first time campers they've got a camp that's 4 nights - not sure up to what age they have that, for the rest it's 6 nights, with the option of staying multiple weeks (without going home in between) once you're 11, iirc. They're just regular camps, but Celery has high-functioning autism - he had a full-time 1-1 aide at school, OT, PT, and speech, and yet they still made camp work for him. For the normal camps (not the camps for first-timers) they also have the kids pick a skills track, where there's one activity they focus on that week - they still do other activities too, but that one activity they do a little bit off every day. Last summer Celery picked soccer, the summer before that fishing, but they have a whole bunch of choices.

 

Now, I don't think the camp is so cool that I'd suggest you travel for it - mostly because I suspect you can find similar closer to home, but just wanted to say that *some* special needs kids can have a good time at a normal camp.

 

ETA: I can PM you the name of the camp if you're interested.

Edited by luuknam
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Camp Henry in Newaygo Mi is great.

 

How severe is their ADHD? Most camps have a nurse and expect kids with ADHD and meds.

 

Spring Hill camps are a bit more pricey but not bad and they integrate kids with special needs into the regular camp setting and will add another counselor to the cabin or even a 1:1 if needed.

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Most camps if you are up front work with kids with ADHD no problem.  My kids have all attended different camps (oldest 2 prefer sleep away ones, ds13 prefers daycamps but has done sleep away ones, youngest has only done daycamps) and all 4 kids have adhd, the boys have even more issues than that and there has never been a problem with them attending any camp.  Take a look at what is around you and then give them a call and speak to the camp director personally to see how they work with kids with adhd, policies etc.

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I assume you are talking about sleep-away camps.

 

I would research many camps in your area and look at the forms where they gather info about the campers.  Some of them indicate knowledge of and willingness to provide accommodations for identified behavioral needs etc.  Others outright say "this is not a camp for children with behavioral issues."  So that's one source of info.

 

For the age group you indicate, I think I would look first at the nearest 4H camp or similar.  (The one near me has camps for non-members many weeks.)  These have great activities, the price is very reasonable, and they have plenty of experience with kids.

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