Below, Cure Advocate Chad Waligura offers some tips on choosing on summer camps for children who have spina bifida.
We recognize how hard it is to find adaptive outdoor events for anyone with a disability, and understand it’s even more difficult when looking for all-accessible camps for kids. Enjoy this free resource for the CURE NATION!
So how do you find a camp? Social media plays an important role of course. Yes, there are some benefits to the web and places like Facebook. Without them a lot of kids would miss out, and it’s the parents that usually have to do the looking.Most of these camps listed below have been around for 10 to 20 years, some longer than that, and are well known to local children’s hospitals and organizations like the Spina Bifida Association. However, we understand that no list is all-inclusive so you may have to do some searching to find a camp near you. It all depends on where you live and where you are willing to go.
NOW’S THE TIME TO CHOOSE A SPINA BIFIDA SUMMER CAMP
The time to apply is NOW! Actually, it was back in January, but the good news is that registration for most camps are still open.While researching, we found a lot of similarities with these camps. For example:
- the accepted age ranges and opportunity for older campers to transition to other programs or to come back as a counselor;
- the facilities are accessible for all indoor & outdoor activities, some of which include horseback riding;
- the staff is specially-trained for children with all types of disabilities (including medical); and
- arrangements can be made for family retreats or in some cases family members that want to attend with the camper.
PARENTs, CHECK OUT THESE SPINA BIFIDA SUMMER CAMPS
Camp That Love Built
This is a spina bifida camp that will be held June 30 – July 5th at Camp For All in Burton, Tx. They’ll see approximately 40-55 campers per year with a minimum age of 6. Sometimes family members are allowed to attend (on a case by case basis.) The Spina Bifida Association of Houston supplies its own medical staff for this camp. Feb 1st applications opened online and will be up until June 15th when camp orientation starts.
Contact: Jodia Cole, 207-509-9239
Website: www.sbhgc.orgCamp Boggy Creek
Every year, this Florida camp offers 2 family retreats, 1 in the Spring and 1 in the Fall, and 2 summer camps for kids/young adults with spina bifida. The age range for the summer camps is 7-16, with older campers transitioning to other programs. Camp Boggy Creek is in Eustis, FL, which is near Orlando and summer camps will be in July & August of this year so either call or check the camp schedule on their site.
VIDEO: CAMP BOGGY CREEK IS PART OF THE SERIOUS FUN NETWORK
Camp Kostopulos (aka Camp K)
Camp is in Lake City, UT, and holds 6 summer camp sessions each summer for kids with disabilities aged 7-17. There will be 60 kids attending each camp. They have residential camps, day camps & partner camps. Kids are taken on a first-come first-served basis and every new camper will be assessed after applying. Camp K has been around for 50 years and has a horseback riding program.
Camp Victory Junction
Located in Randleman, NC, has a summer camp for up to 128 kids with spina bifida ranging in age from 6-16 as well as family weekends in the Spring & Fall. Summer camp is scheduled for July 21-25 this year, and applications are available on their website.
VIDEO: MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS LOVE CAMP TOO!
Medical Volunteering at Victory Junction from Victory Junction on Vimeo.
This is a week-long camp held every year for kids aged 6-18 with spina bifida at Camp Victory in Millville, PA. Camp Spifida is always scheduled for the last full week in July which will be the 21-26 this year. Their goal is to include everyone in all the typical camp activities.
Website: www.campspifida.orgAdaptive Sports Center
This camp is located at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. They offer summer and winter programs for anyone with a disability looking for more challenging activities like mountain biking or snow skiing. The ASC is a fully accessible building that holds road and off-road hand-cycles, kayaks, rafts, camping gear and interns.
Located in Ingleside, IL, this camp is specifically designed for children with spina bifida. Available for kids aged 7 and up. There are two sessions for young adults age 20+ from June 9 – 14 & July 28 – August 3rd, for kids age 7-13 there are 5 summer camps from June 16 – July 13, and for kids 14-19 there are two camps that run from July 14 – 27.
Contact: Brandon Krozel at the camp office: 847-546-8086
This Indiana summer camp is open to kids with disabilities, aged 8-18, and is held at Bradford Woods (owned by Indiana University) in Martinsville, IN. There are 4 week-long events beginning June 2-7, another on June 30 – July 5 and two extended camps from July 7-19.
Camp for children with spina bifida is held at Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center which is located in Excelsior Springs, MO, and provides a wheelchair accessible environment. One week long session from July 21-26.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/campmitiog
Camp Krazy Legs
Held at Camp Twin Lakes in Winder, GA, this fully accessible camp for kids aged 7-16 runs from July 21-26.
Contact: Catherine Shields 404-785-4425
STILL LOOKING FOR MORE SPINA BIFIDA CAMP RESOURCES?
You’re in luck! Browse the Easter Seals Camp & Recreation Directory on their site. Easter Seals offers both day camps and residential camps for children and adults with special needs.
These programs serve to help campers discover and explore new interests while also creating lifelong memories. They provide activities that may not be as easily accessible to children and adults with disabilities in other settings.
Easter Seals offers 30 camps nationwide that provide an array of accessible activities that all campers can enjoy.
Contact: National Office 312-726-6200
PARENTS SOMETIMES NEED MORE PREPARATION THAN KIDS DO FOR CAMP
If you are a parent of a child with a disability, and you’re apprehensive about sending your child off to summer camp by themselves, don’t worry! There are options that can help alleviate some of your concerns.
First, here’s a great checklist to use when packing for camp, courtesy of Camp Spifida.
Consider seeking out a camp close to where you live and go check it out, meet the staff and talk to people who have sent their kids there. Summer camps for children with disabilities can be a wonderful opportunity to expand their horizons and sense of independence. Enjoy the great outdoors at an accessible summer camp near you!
BEFORE YOUR CHILD GOES TO CAMP, HELP THEM GAIN CONFIDENCE IN SELF-CATHING
In addition to the new Pediatric Hydrophilic Cure Catheter®, Cure Medical offers a complimentary EDUCATION PROGRAM that parents can use to teach their children ‘How To Cath’ using fun, instruction tools like:
- Backpacks in blue and pink with no logos — for discretion at school or away from home,
- Flash cards for boys and girls that also include steps for cathing with or without stomas
- Coloring books with crayons, a complimentary toy – and more!
Contact us to request your free backpack with educational materials to help your child learn the steps for self-cathing.
You can also request a sample of the Pediatric Hydrophilic Cure Catheter® using the REQUEST SAMPLE button on the top right side of this page. When you do, an option will appear allowing you to add an educational backpack to your order.
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