10 Wonderful Wheelchair Friendly Summer Camps

Swimming in a lake, making friendship bracelets, singing songs around a campfire—all are hallmark activities of the summer camp experience. Better still–the amount of summer camps with ADA compliance has significantly increased. Check some of our favorites here!

 

 

1. Camp Oakhurst—New Jersey

  • Cost: Sliding scale based on income; scholarships available
  • Ages: 8-19
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: 2:1

Camp Oakhurst is a sleep-away camp on the coast of New Jersey. The camp offers summer and year-round options for children and adults. Swimming, cooking, sports, and day trips are but a few activities offered by Camp Oakhurst. The youth summer camp program has three, two-week long sessions. Apply here.

 

2. Camp Thorpe—Goshen, VT

  • Cost: $800/session; “camperships” available.
  • Ages: 10-20
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: 3:1, includes full-time nurse and health center

Nestled in the Green Mountains in Vermont, Camp Thorpe offers two-week sessions for adults and children/young adults. The Mountain Reach camp serves children 10-20. Campers can look forward to hiking, boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, and more! Apply here.

Camp Harmon, one of the many wheelchair accessible summer camps offered by Easter Seals.

 

3. Camp Without Barriers—Nationwide

Easter Sealsan international charitable organization devoted to providing opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities, provides accessible summer camp experiences through their Camp Without Barriers program.

With 140 camping and recreation facilities across the United States, Camp Without Barriers programs have accessible grounds, adapted equipment, and specially trained staff. The programs and costs vary from camp to camp.

 

4. Camp Accomplish—Nanjemoy, Maryland

  • Cost: From $262-$948, depending on session
  • Age: 5-18; 13-18
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: 1:1 to 1:8

Camp Accomplish offers a traditional summer camp experience with day and overnight adventures as well as specialty camps and a Teen Program. Each week has a theme, which can range from Dragons to Heroes. The Teen Program is geared toward campers who are trying to gain more independence through inter- and intra-personal relationships and leadership skills. Register here.

5. Camp Greentop—Thurmont, MD

  • Cost: From $585-$1715, depending on session (overnight/travel camps)
  • Age: 7-21; all- age (7+); adult (18+)
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: 2:1

Camp Greentop is operated by the League for People With Disabilities and offers summer and year-round recreational programs. Campers enjoy traditional camp activities such as swimming, performing arts, hiking, sports, music, and campfire activities. Register here.

 

6. Victory Junction—Randelman, NC

  • Cost: Free
  • Age: 6-16
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: intensive 1:1 to 1:2

Victory Junction is focused on giving campers with serious illnesses and physical disabilities—as well as their siblings—an incredible summer camp experience. Victory Junction operates disease-specific, week-long sessions held all summer at their state-of-the-art facilities, which include a bowling alley, an indoor softball field, a miniature golf course, a water park, and more. Apply here.

 

Camper and counselor having a blast at wheelchair accessible Camp Summit.

7. Camp Summit—Dallas, TX

  • Cost: Sliding scale with additional “camperships” available
  • Age: 6+, grouped by disability and age
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: 2:1

Camp Summit is a sleep-away camp with week-long sessions during spring, summer, and fall. This fully accessible camp offers horseback riding, swimming, dancing, cookouts, nature studies, and more. They also run CampPower, a specialized program that helps those with disabilities work towards independence through pre-vocational training. Register here.

 

 

8. National Ability Center Camps—Park City, Utah

  • Cost: $120-$550, depending on session (day/overnight)
  • Age: 6-24
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: N/A

The National Ability Center runs summer camps geared toward campers with different abilities of any age. Some specialized sessions include Camp X-Treme, an outdoor adventure camp; and Action Camp, which focuses on adaptive sports and recreation. Their Program Guide offers more information about each session. Register here.

 

Kayaking at Bradford Woods summer camp.

 

9. Bradford Woods—Martinsville, IN

  • Cost: Contact sruffino@rileykids.org to find out pricing.
  • Age: 8-18
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: from intensive 1:1 to 1:3

Bradford Woods, part of Indiana University’s Outdoor Center, offers Therapeutic Camp, where campers are grouped by disability. Camps Riley, Venture, and Kan Du are geared toward campers with physical disabilities. Facilities are fully accessible, and campers can participate in canoeing, hikes, archery, fishing, and more. Contact aegale@indiana.edu to apply.

 

10. Camp Little Giant—Carbondale, IL

  • Cost: $550-$2100, depending on session and camper’s needs
  • Age: 8-21
  • Camper to Counselor Ratio: 1:1 available at extra cost

Camp Little Giant’s session Camp Shawnee is for campers with physical, cognitive, or developmental disabilities. Campers can enjoy dancing, fishing, sports, bread making, swimming, hiking, and more. Located on the shore of Little Grassy Lake, Camp Little Giant is an outdoor adventure for all campers. Register here.

 

Happy camping from all of us at 101 Mobility! For even more options, check out www.mysummercamps.com. Summer camps for 2014 are filling up fast. Register soon!

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About Gabrielle Pantalena

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Comments (2)

  1. Tyler Allen  June 23, 2014

    Great article Gabby! How did you find out about all of these?

    1. Gabrielle Pantalena  June 25, 2014

      Hey Tyler! Thanks for the comment. There are many resources available for finding summer camps to fit your needs. Websites such as http://www.mysummercamps.com, http://www.summercamps.com, and the American Camp Association website are a great place to start.