Summer is right around the corner! Are you and your family looking for fun, summer activities your child to be a part of this summer? Summer camps are a wonderful way for kids to build relationships, find new ways to communicate with others and learn some of life’s most practical lessons. Not only that, it gives parents the opportunity to have a much-needed break while the kids have the time of their life!
Summer camps for children with autism and special needs can be a very rewarding experience. However, you may be asking yourself: Is it worth it? What will they do? What are my options?
If you find yourself asking these questions then fear not! Here are the Top 5 Summer camps for children with special needs in New Jersey.
- Harbor Haven: West Orange, NJ
Harbor Haven Camp is held from June 27th through August 11th. For 21 years, Harbor Haven has been hosting summer camps on their beautiful 8-acre land at the Golda Ocha private school campus. They provide an experience for children and teenagers from 3-18 years old. Each camp is separated by age group but there are opportunities for siblings to be together if they differ in ages.
Harbor Haven has teachers with specialized certifications that facilitate workshops that promote learning, leadership and social interaction with their peers. From science to playing sports, they have a plethora of activities to meet the needs of a wide variety of children. Children will have the opportunity to learn dancing and photography in classes specifically catered toward children with special needs.
For more information: http://www.harborhaven.com/Camp Excel: Monmouth County and
2. Camp Excel: Monmouth County and Bergen County, NJ
Camp Excel is held from June 26th– August 4th. It specializes in building relationships with other children and working on social skills for children with special needs. The children will embark in a program that features many field trips and fun activities.
Transportation is provided at drop off points at no extra cost so parents do not always have to drive directly to the camp unless desired. The camp focuses on building friendship between peers and creating an experience that is not only educational but relaxed enough to encourage exploration and social interaction.
If the month experience seems too intensive they also provide 3 hour Saturday camps. These are broken down to 45 minute classes with Masters in Therapy and also physical activities that are perfect for any child while they are away from school all summer.
For more information: http://www.campexcel.com/programs/
3. Mane Stream: Bedminster, NJ
Has your child ever wanted to ride horses? Mane Stream is a camp that offers therapy and horse riding lessons to children with special needs. They offer two week programs where children are not only able to interact with their peers, but they also are able to build connections with the horses.
Mane Stream provides experts in horseback riding therapy, and teaches children the motor and communications skills needed while they are riding with their four-legged friends. Children will be able to gain a sense of independence and accomplishment by the end of this interactive summer camp. Riding horses is also a great physical activity that will keep your child healthy and moving!
For more information: http://www.manestreamnj.org/summer-camp/
4. Camp Star the Arc of Union County: Mountainside, NJ
The Arc of Union County hosts Camp Star for the full month of August. The focal point of the camp is to enhance social development, language and communication skills, as well as learning muscular coordination. They also have day trips set up where children can go to museums and sporting events every week!
Camp Star has a large set of recreational activities that individuals can enjoy like karate, swimming, arts and crafts and nature exploration. The Arc of Union County have a very qualified staff volunteers that truly enjoy helping children. In fact, they have so many volunteers that the ratio of children to adults is 1:2. This ensures safety for children. If finances are a factor in this situation, there is also financial aid opportunities for those who need it.
For more information: http://arcunion.org/summer-programs/
5. Camp Merry Heart – Hacketstown, NJ
Camp Merry Heart gives kids the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. The residential camp is one that brings nature and people together. At Camp Merry Heart, children can create great relationships while also enjoying outdoor activities such as ziplining and canoeing. There are over 30 fun and confidence-building activities to choose from. This camp gives children the opportunity to have fun while building their self-confidence to achieve their goals.
For more information: http://www.easterseals.com/nj/our-programs/camping-recreation/
These camps are all unique just like your children. Whether you want something educational or fun filled, these camps will have you covered! For more information about how Durand is impacting the autism community, check