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Summer Camps for All Kinds of Kids in the Philadelphia Area

Day and overnight camps for kids who need extra support

For families who have kids with learning differences, physical disabilities, mental health needs, sensory sensitivities, or other accessibility needs, the summer camp search might look a little different. We’re here to help, with a non-exhaustive roundup of some of the Philadelphia area’s day and overnight camps that offer resources for kids who need extra support. These camps support a vast variety of kids and needs.  Make sure to do your own research, and maybe even set up interviews or tours to find the right fit for your child. Let’s make sure that all kinds of kids are able to have a fun summer!

 

Is your favorite camp missing from the list? Please leave a comment below!

Day Camps

Camp Kinney

376 N Latches Lane, Merion Station, PA

 

The Kinney Center at St. Joseph’s University offers an immersive and recreational based traditional summer camp experience designed for individuals with autism. They have perfected their reverse inclusion model over the past nine years.

 

Photo courtesy of the Walnut Street Theatre

Camp Walnut

825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

 

The Walnut Street Theater’s summer day camp welcomes students of all abilities, including those with disabilities and children who are developmentally typical. Their various camp offerings are for kids ages 8-18.

Camp Kef

45 Haverford Road, Wynnewood, PA

 

This Jewish day camp welcomes campers with special needs through their Mildred Lasch Special Needs Inclusion Program. The program supports social development, peer interaction, and independence for neurodiverse campers and campers with disabilities. Additionally, Camp Kef has partnered with The Social Enrichment Center to create a program for children with special needs in two age groups (ages 4-7 and ages 8-11). Children in this program spend the morning with an SEC Staff member for their social skills bootcamp, and then join their Camp Kef bunkmates for the remainder of the day.

 

Photo courtesy of Camp Pegasus

Camp Pegasus’s Mini Pegasus – Art of Friendship

Art of Friendship/Child and Family Art Therapy Center, 600 Haverford Road, Haverford, PA

 

While the original Camp Pegasus celebrated it’s last summer in 2023, they are launching a new half-day summer creative arts social skills intensive for kids ages 4-8. The program is for “well-regulated behaviorally independent neurodiverse children with ADHD, autism, learning differences, and anxiety.” Kids will participate in structured social and arts activities.

We Rock the Spectrum Northeast Philly

12357-59 Academy Road, Philadelphia

 

This indoor gym in Northeast Philly was founded to provide a place for kids of all ability levels to play together, and is stocked with equipment designed particularly for children with sensory processing disorders. Their day camp for ages 3-12 has fun weekly themes and is open to kids of all abilities.

 

Photo courtesy of the Phebe Anna Thorne School

Phebe Anna Thorne Language Enrichment Summer Camp

1029 Wyndon Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA

 

This early childhood school on Bryn Mawr College’s campus has a language enrichment preschool program also offers a summer program. The Thorne Language Enrichment Summer Camp is designed for children ages 3-5 who qualify for speech therapy. The school embeds the therapy into a multi-sensory camp curriculum. Priority is given to children already enrolled or new to the school-year Language Enrichment Preschool Program.

Summer Enrichment Program at AIM Academy

1200 River Road, Conshohocken PA

 

AIM Academy is an independent school dedicated to providing educational opportunities to children with language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. They do not require a diagnosed learning difference to attend their summer enrichment program, but the program is designed for a broad range of student learners and provides academic support for a variety of areas of subjects. AIM notes that there are needs that are outside their areas of expertise and would not be well served by their program including cognitive impairment, needs on the autism spectrum, and emotional disturbance or behavioral conduct disorder.

 

Photo courtesy of JCC Camps at Medford

JCC Camps at Medford

400 Tuckerton Road, Medford, NJ

 

The JCC Camps at Medford has an inclusion camp program for campers with disabilities called Open Hearts/Open Doors. This program provides accommodations for children with disabilities to fully participate with their peers at camp. Campers in this program have a variety of intellectual and developmental differences including autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and communication disorders.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Camps

Various locations in Philadelphia

 

More than 7,000 campers attend Parks & Rec summer camps each summer, including camps for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Use the Parks & Rec Finder app to find a camp near you.

Overnight Camps

Dragonfly Forest Summer Camp

143 Nichecronk Road, Dingmans Ferry, PA

 

The Dragonfly Forest specialty YMCA camp is a traditional overnight program for kids with autism, 22q, asthma, sickle cell disease, and hemophilia. By partnering with parents and experts in the medical field, the camp provides accommodations for campers that allow them to be successful at camp.

 

Photo courtesy of Appel Farm Arts Camp

Appel Farm Arts Camp

457 Shirley Road, Elmer, NJ

 

Appel Farm Arts Camp is a gender-affirming overnight summer arts camp for kids ages 7 – 17. Their staff is trained in mental health first aid and the camp is “radically supportive.” The camp will pick up campers at Philadelphia International Airport, Amtrak 30th Street Station, or the Philadelphia Greyhound Station.

Camp Achieve

249 Camp Green Lane Road, Green Lane, PA

 

Camp Achieve is a uniquely designed week-long sleepaway summer camp program tailored to the special needs of youth ages 8 to 17 who are living with epilepsy. With trained medical staff and experienced counselors, kids can safely enjoy the great outdoors, participate in games and sports, and build lasting bonds with children who share similar challenges and experiences.

 

Lead photo courtesy of Camp Kinney

Calendar Editor and Writer for Philadelphia Family. Send tips to eleanor@familyfocus.org.

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