Choosing a Special Needs Camp – Part 2

In our last post, we talked about why camp is such a unique and valuable experience for kids with special needs. We also outlined a few steps to help parents start looking for the best camp for their child.

Once you’ve done some self-reflection about what you’re looking for and conducted some research on what’s out there, you’re ready to take the next step, which is to speak with the camp directors. These are the people who will have ultimate responsibility for your child’s well-being. You should feel comfortable enough to speak candidly with them about your family. Most of all, they should understand your child’s needs and be passionate about changing the lives of young people!

Questions to ask the camp directors:

  • What is the camper to staff ratio? How many staff members and campers live in each bunk?
  • How do you recruit and train the staff? What are your basic requirements for age and related experience?
  • What are the living accommodations? Will there be enough space to accommodate my child’s needs?
  • What can you tell me to confirm that you really understand my child’s special needs?
  • What is the application process?
  • Are you willing to meet me and my family?
  • Tell me about how you got involved with this camp?
  • How will you help prepare my child (and me) for camp before the summer?
  • How will the directors and staff communicate with me while my child is at camp?
  • Is there flexibility in the camp program to accommodate a challenging day or a need that my child has?
  • How much structure and choice are built into daily activities?

The camp experience is an incredible gift to give your child. You’re now well on your way to finding the camp that’s the best fit for your camper!

— Debbie and Eric