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Summer Camp for Kids and Adults with Disabilities

Summer camp. If you have experienced it, these two words will likely evoke warm, filtered sunlit memories of the healing qualities of being immersed in nature, the soothing scent of a wood fire, and the uplifting song of campers’ voices drifting through the forest as they call to one another. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, this may well be your summer to try it.

Several children with lower limb prostheses play with a colorful ball on a grassy lawn. A woman helps one of the children balance on two stability discs.
Photo credit: Roberto Herrera, Camp No Limits

At summer camp, we make new friends, learn to appreciate our differences, and create healing through our connection to nature, all while being provided with supported expertise and dedicated space to challenge ourselves by trying new things. And here at 2LIV4, we believe that summer camp is a unique experience that should be available to people of all ages and abilities. Summer camp can provide the kind of unique adventure that empowers confidence for individuals to explore their independence while safely learning new skills in a fully supported environment.

A young smiling woman sits in a three-wheeled recumbent off-road hand cycle.
Photo credit: National Ability Center

We encourage you to use this reference list to locate the camp that will best suit the needs of you or your loved one. The camps included here offer a broad and inclusive range of opportunities such as horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, talent shows, art and music classes, and immersive nature experiences. We hope to see you around the campfire this summer!

  • National Ability Center (Park City, UT) has year-round day and overnight camps for youth and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities. Its mission is to empower individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs.

A woman sits inside a tent while extending her arm to her wheelchair outside of the tent.
Photo credit: National Ability Center
  • Camp Greentop (Catoctin National Park, MD) has day and overnight camps offering a structured schedule of canoeing, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, and campfire singalongs.

  • Talisman Programs (Zirconia, NC) caters to children and teens with ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger syndrome, and autism with special attention on nutrition, life skills, and daily routines with built-in downtime.

  • The Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (Center Point, TX) summer camp sessions are for children and adults with special needs as well as their siblings. Traditional summer camp activities such as canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, and outdoor sports are modified so that people of all abilities may participate.

Three youth with orange helmets on are strapped into a roller coaster ride. The first child looks frightened, the second (a lower limb amputee) smiles, and the third seems to be enjoying the ride.
Photo credit: Roberto Herrera, Camp No Limits
  • Camp LeeMar (Lackawaxen, PA) adds speech therapy, vocational training, swim instruction, academic instruction, and therapeutic arts to the usual menu of camp activities.

  • Camp Ramapo (Rhinebeck, NY) has a 1:1 counselor to camper ratio in order to provide an inclusive environment. Children with special needs ages 6-16 enjoy traditional camp activities on the wooded lakefront campus.

  • Camp No Limits has several locations including Maine, Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, and California. Its mission is to educate and empower young people with limb loss to discover and develop a healthy, happy, and independent lifestyle. Families learn about prosthetics and adaptive equipment while participating in art, music, sports, recreational activities, and therapy.

A smiling boy with an arm prosthesis sits on his knees on a paddle board in the water and holds the paddle in the air.
Photo credit: Roberto Herrera, Camp No Limits
  • Deaf Camps (Knoxville and West River, MD) combines a traditional camp experience with lessons in American Sign Language.

  • Adam's Camp (Englewood, CO) provides unique therapy and adventure programs designed and delivered by dedicated therapists and counselors who help special needs children, youth, and adults reach for the stars.

  • National Sports Center for the Disabled (Denver and throughout CO) helps people with disabilities embrace the great outdoors as a welcoming, exhilarating playground. With an endless list of year-round programming, there is something to satisfy everyone's outdoor adventure ambitions.

  • Easter Seals offers accessible and barrier-free residential and day camps throughout the country. Programs range from sports and fitness activities to after school play, Saturday-night socials, and community outings. Open to children and adults of all types and levels of ability.

A group of adults sit in a circle in a sandy area next to a rock wall. Some are sitting in their wheelchairs, some in the sand, and some in folding chairs.
Photo credit: National Ability Center

Have you or your child had an amazing experience at a summer camp?

Editor’s note: Please use this list only as a starting point to research and locate the camp that best suits the needs of you or your loved one. 2LIV4 has not attended any of these camps and has no affiliation with them. We encourage you to do your due diligence before registering for any camp or activity, whether on this list or not.


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