The weather is warming up and many children in Central Florida are enjoying Spring Break. What a nice time it is to get out of the house and go on some exciting adventures with our loved ones. As we are getting further into the year, it is time to begin thinking about summer activities and camps that understand and accommodate children with special needs.
There are several special needs camps in the area. While we at New Hope for Kids cannot recommend a specific camp, since every child’s needs are unique, we would like to provide you with some information that we have found for camps in the Central Florida area. Check websites for information about costs, dates, availability, etc.
According to their website, Camp Boggy Creek located in Eustis operates throughout the year and provides camp experiences for children up to the age of 16. They offer camps centered on cancer, epilepsy, severe asthma, and many more. These camps are funded through various fundraising and at the current time are free to both the child and the family. www.boggycreek.org.
The Freedom Ride non-profit organization is a program located in Orlando that focuses on providing therapeutic horseback riding. At their website: http://www.freedomride.com/summercamp.html , you will find a registration packet and a new rider evaluation form.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach has many animal encounters that children will find both stimulating and exhilarating. They have an in depth special needs form on their website that parents can fill out. If possible, accommodations will be made. Children will find these up close animal experiences exciting, as they have programs with stingrays, dolphins, reptiles and other wildlife. https://www.gulfarium.com/specialneeds.
Quest’s Camp Thunderbird accommodates specific disabilities and has both a youth and a teen program. They specialize in six and twelve day overnight camps. It gives the children a chance to have fun, enjoy activities and make new friends, while parents and/or guardians have time for a much needed break. http://www.questinc.org/play.html. This camp is located in Orlando.
Bradenton, Florida’s Dream Oaks Camp provides various experiences for children ranging in age from 7-17. They offer day, weekend, and longer residential camps. Some of their activities are for all abilities, while others are tailored towards a special need or illness. http://www.foundationfordreams.org.
Easter Seals Camp Challenge in Sorrento works with individuals that have special needs to provide exciting opportunities such as archery, zip lining and drama. http://www.easterseals.com/florida/our-programs/camping-recreation/camp-challenge.html?referrer=https://www.google.com.
Florida Special Touch getaway is having a week long camp in Lake Wales from May 30th – June 3rd. They can accommodate many different types of special needs for ages 10 and up. They have activities such as fishing, ceramics, and design. http://www.veryspecialcamps.com/summer-camps/Florida-Special-Touch-Get-Away-2294.html.
The primary goal of these camps is to provide children with new experiences and build self-confidence. We in Central Florida are very fortunate to have access to such a variety of camps that specialize in providing children with rich bonding opportunities and incredible experiences.