Summer camps provide an excellent opportunity for disabled children to grow and flourish. Not only are there the individual experiences, but it is a chance for the children to interact with other disabled children and to develop relationships that can last a long time. All while they are having loads and loads of fun. They also provides a time of respite for their families, which can be a time to rest and recharge their parental batteries. There are many different camps in Canada; some are government-funded and others are private.
Here is a list of some of the more popular camps for disabled children that can be found in different locations in Canada:
Easter Seals Camps: There is Camp Shawnigan on Vancouver Island, Camp Squamish in North Vancouver and camp Winfield in Okanagan Valley. Camps are for children ages 6-18 with any type of disability. They offer an incredible experience where the kids learn about their abilities, and not focus their disabilities.
Camp Kodiak in Perry Sound, Ontario: For children and teens ages 6-18, they have highly trained staff who are trained in the field of child development with one counselor per 2 kids. Activities are developed to promote self-esteem and confidence. Events include swimming, arts & crafts, horseback riding, music and sailing.
Yaldei Developmental Center-Pepsi Refresh Project in various spots in Ontario: Funded camp for children with developmental delays, neurological disorders, autism, cognitive delay and genetic disorders. Activities include music, water sports, nature trails and arts & crafts. Children are taught cooperation and communication skills. Focus is on developing both physical and emotional skills.
Camp Kennebec in Arden, Ontario: For children ages 7 and up with autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, social and behavioral difficulties. They offer many group activities, as well as individualized programs. Included are activities such as waterskiing, horseback riding, tubing, theme days and special events. Counselors are well-trained and available to the children at all times.
Camp Eulogig in Toronto, Ontario: A Christian based camp for families who have children with disabilities. Professional staff who are available for both the children and the family. They offer outdoor activities as well as bible stories. A great experience for children as well as an opportunity for parents to learn and share with other parents.
Camp Rotary in Grand Lake, New Brunswick: Operated by Easter Seals, it is for disabled children ages 7-14. Various camps are designed for children living with cancer, diabetes, cognitive disabilities and hemophilia. A chance for kids to not only to be enriched as individuals, but to grow socially.
Kinark Child & Family Services Minden, Ontario: Offers summer camps for autistic children as well as family camps. They focus not just on each child but the opportunity to develop peer relationships. Staff is very knowledgeable and works to design programs that center on the strengths and interests of each individual child.
Eureka Camp in Richmond, British Columbia: Funded by Eureka, it is available for children suffering from oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), Asperger’s syndrome, learning disabilities, epilepsy and ADD/ADHD. There is 24 hour medical care provided. Activities include swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, drama and arts and crafts. Counselors are well-trained and available at all times. Specialized menus are available.
Camp Yaldei Montreal, Quebec: This camp is set up to deal with all disabilities. Each individual child has their own counselor who spends the entire day with them. It is an opportunity to gain independence while developing themselves and enjoying a large variety of indoor and outdoor activities.
Zajac Ranch Vancouver, British Columbia: For children with both physical and mental disabilities, care is provided twenty four hours. Their staff is highly trained in dealing with disabled children and work with each child to encourage success and help them play in team environments.
Children with disabilities are faced with coping with their disability every day. Camp gives them a chance to focus on fun and what they are capable of doing, and not their restrictions. They develop self-confidence and it is an incredible opportunity for them to develop relationships with other children who face similar life struggles.
Not only do the children benefit but the parents get a much required break. Staffs at these camps are all specially trained to deal with a variety of disabilities so the children feel cared for and safe even in a strange environment. Many of the camps are funded by charities which relieve the financial burden and allow opportunities for all families. Give your child the once in a lifetime experience that they will cherish forever.