* Detailed Guidelines for the Phased Reopening of Child Care, Camps and Summer Recreational Programs *
The Baker-Polito Administration released health and safety requirements on June 1, 2020 that apply to the reopening of all child care programs, recreational camps and municipal or recreational programs not traditionally licensed as camps as part of the phased reopening of the Commonwealth.
Your child’s teacher, Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) and other parents are a great source of information and ideas for summer camp options. In addition, local park and /or recreation departments may have weekly programs that offer inclusive activities for children. Some may have programs designed for children with special needs.
You also can call local chapters of major disability organizations about camps in your area. Many organizations publish lists of camps and can connect you with camp directors and former campers.
Y Resident/Overnight Camps in Massachusetts – There are 8 Y camps in Massachusetts.
SPED Child & Teen Special-Needs Camps & Fairs Massachusetts 2021 – Lists upcoming camp fairs. You might have a special-needs camp fair in your area.
Summer Fun Camp Directory – Federation For Children with Special Needs provides a links to over 200 camp web sites serving children with disabilities.
American Camp Association (ACA) Accredited Camps – The American Camp Association is the national accrediting organization for camps. ACA provides information for campers with and without special needs.
Camp Search Engines and Resources
In addition to Searching for Camps on Disabilityinfo.org, there are more searchable camp websites:
- inclusive February vacation activities and camps
- lists camps by region
- lists camp fairs
Autism Speaks: Virtual Summer Activities – Looking for at-home ideas to keep busy over the summer? These activities are not exclusively autism-friendly.
Camp Channel Special Needs Camps – Summer Camps that accommodate people with special needs.
Camps for Children with Diabetes – Diabetes camp is one of the best experiences that a child with diabetes can have.
Easter Seals New Hampshire Summer Camp – Providing residential camping for children and young adults with disabilities and special needs.
Boston Parents Paper Summer Camp Guide for Greater Boston and New England – Lists day camps & programs, sleep-away and overnight camp adventures, sports camps, arts camps, STEM & enrichment camps, music camps, special needs camps and more.
Boston Parents Paper – Summer Camp Guide for Greater Boston and New England
Kids’ Camps.com – Well maintained site allowing searching by geographic area and by program type. Select “Special Needs Camps” category. Ages: children and adolescents. Various disabilities. Day- and overnight-camps listed.
MySummerCamps.com – Comprehensive directory and guide of summer camps for kids and teens with “special needs camps”.
Summercamps.com – Summer camp directory with “Special Needs” category.
Summer Camps for Amputees and Children with Limb Differences – Summer camp programs for children with limb loss and limb difference.
Free Referral Services
Summer Camp and Trip Resources – Free referral service that matches child’s needs with appropriate summer programs [overnight camps, day camps, teen trips, community service programs, specialty programs, programs for children with special needs (specifically ADD, ADHD, nonverbal learning disabilities, Asperger’s, pervasive disability and mild intellectual disability), specialized therapeutic programs, Jewish cultural camps and conventional camps]. Serves ages seven to eighteen years of age.
45 Sloane Drive
Framingham, MA 01701
Toll Free: 800-362-CAMP (2267)
Contact: Judy Levine
Possible Financial Assistance Option
Autism Speaks Resource Guide to Camps – Many disability specific organizations like Asperger’s Association of New England, local autism support centers, United Cerebral Palsy, and Easter Seals may be able to provide some funding for its summer programs
Find out if your child qualifies for an extended-school year (ESY). An Individual Education Program (IEP) that includes summer goals may qualify for summer programming. For additional information about special education extended school year program go to Massachusetts Department of Education.
- If you can prove that your child will be working on the skills outlined in his/her IEP at the summer program, the school
district may pay for it. Talk to the school administrator early in the IEP process if you will be asking for school district
to cover some of your child’s summer program.
You can help fund your child’s camp experience by applying for a scholarship. It is best to do so from December – March, because the money is depleted by April or May.
Fraternal Organizations. There are charitable organizations called fraternal organizations that can also provide assistance.
Most of these organizations send the scholarship money to the camp in the child’s name.
Fact Sheet last updated on: 3/11/2021