My Son Thrives at a Special Needs Camp

Making new friends and so much more


I think summer camp was made for me. I started going when I was five years old. I was terrified. We were sleeping in a lean-to halfway up a mountain — well, a large hill. But it was an adventure and I was excited to be there. Read more

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  • Camps offering some support for kids with special needs
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    List of special needs camps

    SEARCH ALL CAMPS USING OUR ADVANCED CAMP SEARCH

    Special Needs Support: Mild    Specialized   
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    Camps that specialize in special needs support

    InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Ontario   
    InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Ontario is a Christian Summer Camp and Outdoor Education & Retreat Centre located in Ontario, offering programs for children, youth, and students.

    Huntsville
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 17 (Coed, Girls, Boys)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $495
    overnightcampcoedallgirlsallboys 495 5-17 10HuntsvilleOntario
    Sports Camps Canada   
    Our coed summer sports camps are geared toward kids ages 4-18 of all abilities and skill levels. From beginner to elite, there is a camp option for everyone. Improve Your Skills & Have SERIOUS FUN at Sports Camps Canada!

    Bayview Village, Toronto; North Toronto, Toronto; Calgary; Vancouver
    Sport (multi)
    • Ages 4 to 17 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $235
    daycampprogramclasscoed 235 4-17 11Bayview Village, TorontoNorth Toronto, TorontoCalgaryVancouverAlberta, British Columbia, OntarioNorth-York, Uptown
    City of Toronto Camps   
    There's a City of Toronto camp in every neighbourhood, including specialty camps, free camps at community centres (ages 4-17) and adapted camps (ages 4-29). Kids can learn new skills and make fun memories close to home.

    Bay Street Corridor, Toronto
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 4 to 17 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $1
    daycampcoed 1 4-17 18Bay Street Corridor, TorontoOntarioDowntown
    St. Jude’s Academy Our Family of Schools Camps   
    Our Family of School Camps offer an exciting array of fun, activity-based programs for campers of all ages. Camps provide opportunities for exploration, creativity and personal growth within a positive atmosphere.

    Mississauga; Orangeville
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 3 to 18 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $230
    daycampcoed 230 3-18 31MississaugaOrangevilleOntario
    Oxford Learning High Park   
    Oxford means a personalized learning experience for your child. Veriety of programs for the students of all ages. Learning takes a fun turn. Our students are excited to learn!

    Bloor West Village, Toronto
    Education (multi)
    • Ages 4 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $100
    daycampprogramclasscoed 100 4-12 35Bloor West Village, TorontoOnlineOntarioWest-End
    LearningRx – Richmond Hill   
    LearningRx strengthens the cognitive skills critical to how students learn and perform. Our research-based program has helped high-performing students and those with LD, Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, ASD, brain injuries and more!

    Richmond Hill
    Education: Academic/Tutoring (multi)
    • Ages 5 to 99 (Coed)
    • Program, Virtual Program
    • from $80
    programclassvirtualprogramcoed 80 5-99 38Richmond HillOnlineOntario
    YMCA of Eastern Ontario   
    We offer a full range of youth rec programs such as basketball, cycling, karate, swimming & school-break & summer day camps. These are offered in safe environments to help children develop self-esteem & confidence.

    Brockville; Kingston; Prescott and Russell
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 1 to 18 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $1
    daycampprogramclasscoed 1 1-18 39BrockvilleKingstonPrescott and RussellOntario
    The Music Studio   
    Your child will love the lessons, classes and camps at The Music Studio. Your child will flourish as they learn musical skills, explore their creativity and develop life skills. Excellence in music education since 1990.

    Islington Village, Toronto
    Arts: Music (multi)
    • Ages 4 to 18 (Coed)
    • Program
    • from $100
    programclasscoed 100 4-18 40Islington Village, TorontoOnlineOntarioEtobicoke
    Camps offering some support for kids with special needs
    Kandalore   
    Kandalore is one of the finest overnight camps in Canada, providing the best of both canoe tripping and in-camp activities. For over 75 years, Kandalore has given campers the chance to get to know and be themselves.

    Minden
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 16 (Coed)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $3,290
    overnightcampcoed32906-161MindenOnlineOntario
    Code Ninjas Mississauga (Port Credit)   
    March-Break/Summer camp and after school programs focusing on computational literacy and STEM programming. Learn coding skills by building your own video games. Kids have fun, parents see results!

    Mississauga
    Computer (multi)
    • Ages 5 to 14 (Coed)
    • Program
    • from $120
    programclasscoed1205-142MississaugaOntario
    Zebra Robotics - Toronto Danforth   
    We help kids in grades 1 to 12 develop a passion for STEM in our coding and robotics classes and camps. Personalized learning in small groups delivered in person or online. Opportunity to join robotics competition teams!

    Riverdale, Toronto
    Computer: Technology
    • Ages 6 to 18 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program, Virtual Program
    • from $150
    daycampprogramclassvirtualprogramcoed1506-183Riverdale, TorontoOnlineOntarioEast-End
    InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake   
    Circle Square Ranch is a life changing Christian summer camp for youth ages 6-17. We offer a wide range of activities including horseback riding, water sports and climbing. Your summer adventure with friends starts here!

    Hamilton; Huntsville; Land O' Lakes Tourist Region
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 17 (Coed, Girls)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $599
    overnightcampcoedallgirls5996-174HamiltonHuntsvilleLand O' Lakes Tourist RegionOnlineOntario
    Kids Theatre Camp   
    Do you have a PERFORMER on your hands? Our week-long camps will explore the world of the performing arts! From commercial, TV & film acting to stage performances and musicals!

    Davenport, Toronto
    Arts: Acting (Film & TV)
    • Ages 6 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $300
    daycampcoed3006-125Davenport, TorontoOntarioMidtown
    I Dare U2 Bee   
    JUST BEE YOU is an online summer camp escape to have kids tap into the CERTAINTY of who they are and their own magnificent superpowers.

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 12 (Coed)
    • Virtual Program
    • from $250
    virtualprogramcoed2506-126Online
    Onondaga Camp   
    For more than 100 years Onondaga Camp has provided an inclusive environment where young people can play, explore, achieve and grow. Offering over 30 different activities, there is something for everyone!

    Minden
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 16 (Coed)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $1,900
    overnightcampcoed19006-167MindenOntario
    CBY Music & Performing Arts   
    CBY Music & Performing Arts is Waterdown's number 1 performing arts academy, with programs running 7 days a week across multiple disciplines that seek to enrich, inspire and encourage young people from ages 4-17.

    Hamilton
    Arts: Performing Arts (multi)
    • Ages 4 to 14 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $200
    daycampprogramclasscoed2004-148HamiltonOntario
    Hamilton Music Collective   
    Musical Futures Summer Camp provides an innovative and immersive experience that exposes youth ages 6-14 to music creation and performance - Vocals, orchestra, rock band & tech tracks. - Ages 7 to 14 - from $150/week

    Hamilton
    Arts: Music (multi)
    • Ages 6 to 14 (Coed)
    • Program
    • from $150
    programclasscoed1506-149HamiltonOntario
    Sylvan Learning of Port Credit   
    With our personalised teaching and dedicated teachers, each and every unique student learns and grows!

    Mississauga
    Education: Academic/Tutoring (multi)
    • Ages 5 to 18 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $30
    daycampprogramclasscoed305-1812MississaugaOntario
    GTA Mavericks Basketball Association   
    GTA Mavericks offers year round programming including summer camps, house leagues and rep teams while also providing additional programs such as Private Training, Skill development sessions, Parent-Player shootarounds.

    Thornhill; Vaughan
    Sport: Basketball
    • Ages 3 to 17 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $20
    daycampprogramclasscoed203-1713ThornhillVaughanOntario
    Pedalheads Bike, Swim and Sport   
    Pedalheads offers bike, swim, and trail programs to families across Canada. Pedalheads helps kids develop life skills, confidence, and independence through fun, safe, and engaging instruction.

    Throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec (140)
    Sport: Cycling
    • Ages 2 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $199
    daycampprogramclasscoed1992-1214Bathurst Manor/Clanton Park, TorontoBayview Village, TorontoBloor West Village, TorontoDon Mills, TorontoEast York, TorontoForest Hill, TorontoHumber Valley Village, TorontoLansing , TorontoLawrence Manor, TorontoLeaside, TorontoLittle Italy, TorontoParkview Hills, TorontoRouge, TorontoThe Beach, TorontoWest Deane Park, TorontoAirdrieAjaxBarrieBurlingtonBurnabyCalgaryCoquitlamCote Saint-LucDeltaEdmontonHamiltonHampsteadKelownaKitchenerLangleyLavalLondonMarkhamMiltonMississaugaMont-RoyalMontrealNewmarketNorth VancouverOakvilleOkotoksOttawaOutremontPointe-ClairePort MoodyRichmondRichmond HillSaint LaurentSherwood ParkSpruce GroveSt AlbertSurreyVancouverVaughanVictoriaWaterlooWest VancouverWestmountWhitbyOnlineAlberta, British Columbia, Ontario, QuebecDowntown, East-End, East-York, Etobicoke, Midtown, North-York, Scarborough, West-End
    WillowWood School Camp and Summer School   
    WillowWood offers 3 different summer programs: camps for Grades 1-6, skills programs for Gr. 7-9 and high school credits for students in Grades 9-12.

    Don Mills, Toronto
    Education (multi)
    • Ages 6 to 17 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $300
    daycampprogramclasscoed3006-1715Don Mills, TorontoOntarioNorth-York
    Camp Couchiching   
    Beautiful forests, rolling fields and lots of lakeside waterfront are waiting for you only 1.5 hours from Toronto. Camp Couchiching focuses on individual development and challenge by choice, We are all levels of awesome!

    Orillia
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 14 (Coed)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $875
    overnightcampcoed8756-1416OrilliaOnlineOntario
    YMCA of Southwestern Ontario Overnight Camps   
    The YMCA of Southwestern Ontario offers two amazing overnight camps for campers aged 5-16 - YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth (CQE) in Georgian Bay Islands National Park and YMCA Camp Henry in Point Pelee National Park.

    Leamington; London; Port Severn
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 16 (Coed)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $600
    overnightcampcoed6005-1617LeamingtonLondonPort SevernOntario
    Adventure Valley   
    Summer day camp servicing Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Mississauga and Etobicoke. We focus on developing the whole child through nature discovery, creative arts and active play.

    Oakville
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 4 to 14 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $425
    daycampcoed4254-1419OakvilleOntario
    Great Big Theatre Company   
    Camps in your neighbourhood ! One-week sessions, performances every week. Our experienced, caring staff will introduce your kids to stage performance & guide them toward self-expression. A great confidence-builder !

    Throughout Ontario (12)
    Arts: Theatre Arts
    • Ages 6 to 14 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $180
    daycampprogramclasscoed1806-1420The Elms, TorontoYork Mills, TorontoBurlingtonGuelphHamiltonLondonMississaugaOakvilleRichmond HillWaterlooWhitbyOntarioEtobicoke, North-York
    Rouge Camps   
    Teacher directed day camps in York Region for children ages 4-15 offering sport instruction in multiple sports and leadership training in a fun environment. Been teaching life through sport and rated 9/10+ since 2013!

    Throughout Ontario (6)
    Sport (multi)
    • Ages 4 to 15 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $305
    daycampcoed3054-1521High Park, TorontoMapleMarkhamRichmond HillUnionvilleWoodbridgeOntarioWest-End
    Canadian Contemporary School of Art   
    A contemporary art school that teaches skills and methods to inspire artistic expression for all ages. We offer painting, fashion design, filmmaking, animation, sculpting, architecture and more!

    Leaside, Toronto
    Arts: Visual Arts (multi)
    • Ages 1 to 17 (Coed)
    • Program
    • from $40
    programclasscoed401-1722Leaside, TorontoOnlineOntarioEast-York
    Camp Pathfinder   
    Historic boys' camp on Pathfinder Island, Algonquin Park. Est. 1914. Full in-camp program. Water, land and camping sports. Canoe trips a specialty. Spectacular setting. Exceptional staff, positive culture for boys.

    Algonquin Park
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 7 to 16 ( Boys)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $1,200
    overnightcampallboys12007-1623Algonquin ParkOnlineOntario
    InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Grand River   
    A traditional camp offering overnight and day camp programs. Activities include horsemanship, swimming, high ropes, climbing wall, archery, campfires, and much more. Leadership and horse specialty camps also offered.

    Brant
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 16 (Coed, Girls, Boys)
    • Day Camp, Overnight Camp
    • from $280
    daycampovernightcampcoedallgirlsallboys2805-1624BrantOntario
    Code-it Hacks   
    Blend of 5 flavors in our Kids Coding & Robotics Camp in Toronto! Learn to Code, Learn to build: Robotics & Circuits, Outdoor play:Logic Games & a field trip to a tech company! Never a dull moment in our camps & programs

    Bloor West Village, Toronto; High Park, Toronto
    Computer (multi)
    • Ages 5 to 17 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $250
    daycampprogramclasscoed2505-1725Bloor West Village, TorontoHigh Park, TorontoOnlineOntarioWest-End
    Glen Bernard Camp   
    A traditional overnight summer camp for girls offering wilderness adventure, sailing, swimming and lifesaving, arts and many other activities!

    Huntsville
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 4 to 16 ( Girls)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $350
    overnightcampallgirls3504-1626HuntsvilleOntario
    Ontario Educational Leadership Centre   
    Leadership training for students in Grades 6-12 in the arts, athletics, French language sports, SHSM, school leadership and more. Leadership courses are facilitated by qualified Ontario Teachers. #WeLead

    Washago
    Education: Leadership (multi)
    • Ages 10 to 18 (Coed)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $240
    overnightcampcoed24010-1827WashagoOnlineOntario
    Outward Bound Canada   
    Outward Bound Canada provides challenging adventures in the outdoors across the country that develop self-respect, awareness of others, interpersonal skills, and a sense of accomplishment.

    Don Valley Village, Toronto; North Toronto, Toronto; Algonquin Park; Kananaskis; Vancouver Island
    Adventure (multi)
    • Ages 14 to 19 (Coed, Girls, Boys)
    • Overnight Camp
    • from $1
    overnightcampcoedallgirlsallboys114-1928Don Valley Village, TorontoNorth Toronto, TorontoAlgonquin ParkKananaskisVancouver IslandAlberta, British Columbia, OntarioNorth-York, Uptown
    Sidney Ledson Institute   
    Trad./Innovative: AM- Math, English, STEM (entrepreneurship, financial literacy, coding, python, web)/ PM- 2-week workshops:Art & Architecture, Animals & Archeology, Ancient Civilizations & Astronomy, and Magic & Mystery

    Don Mills, Toronto
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 2.5 to 14 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Virtual Program
    • from $300
    daycampvirtualprogramcoed3002.5-1429Don Mills, TorontoOnlineOntarioNorth-York
    YMCA of Oakville   
    YMCA of Oakville Child and Youth Programs and Summer Day Camps are offered at several locations across the community with activities including swimming, day trips and more. Learn more!

    Cambridge; Oakville
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 17 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $198
    daycampcoed1985-1730CambridgeOakvilleOntario
    Kidz Kamp Inc.   
    A traditional outdoor day camp, with fun activities, friends, exciting field trips and outstanding memories! Now offering March Break, Summer & Winter Break Equestrian Camp at our new second location in Georgetown!

    Halton Hills; Mississauga
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 16 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $125
    daycampcoed1255-1632Halton HillsMississaugaOntario
    YMCA Wanakita   
    A co-ed camp offering Overnight Kids Camp, Day Camp and year-round Family Camps. We offer leadership development, a wide range of activities, tripping, a sense of belonging and fun. Come have the time of your life!

    Haliburton Highlands
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 7 to 16 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Overnight Camp
    • from $940
    daycampovernightcampcoed9407-1633Haliburton HighlandsOntario
    Toronto Kidz   
    Our weeks focus on themes such as Dinosaurs, Animals, etc. for our younger campers 5-8 years old and Science, Outdoors, Arts, etc. for our older campers 9-12 year old. Weekly field trips to Toronto's attractions included

    Baby Point, Toronto; Roncesvalles Village, Toronto; Wallace Emerson, Toronto
    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day Camp
    • from $220
    daycampcoed2205-1234Baby Point, TorontoRoncesvalles Village, TorontoWallace Emerson, TorontoOntarioWest-End, York-Crosstown
    Code Ninjas Mississauga West   
    World class coding and robotics curriculum for kids. After-school programs, Camps, Birthday Parties and much more. Virtual Classes also available.

    Mississauga
    Education (multi)
    • Ages 5 to 18 (Coed)
    • Day Camp, Program
    • from $129
    daycampprogramclasscoed1295-1836MississaugaOnlineOntario
    Higher Training Basketball Academy   
    Higher Training Basketball Academy, offering: group, private and semi private skills based basketball training. During the holiday's we offer large group basketball classes and travel for tournaments too!

    Burlington
    Sport: Basketball
    • Ages 4 to 18 (Coed)
    • Program
    • from $150
    programclasscoed1504-1837BurlingtonOntario


     

    I loved every part of camping — getting up with the bell, the warm mist coming off the grass, the sunshine, the sounds of the activities, the games. I loved making new friends and spending my summers with amazing mentors.

    I wanted my two sons to experience the same spirit, the same smells, sounds, sights and that sense of accomplishment. When our younger son, Ryan, was born with a developmental disability and with cerebral palsy, I was determined that he, too, would get to share in the joy and personal growth that I believed is created and nurtured at summer camp.

    We started Ryan out at a day camp at our home town of Tilsonburg, Ontario, when he was about eight years old. I took every other day off work to be with him because there was no infrastructure then, no training for youth or recreational workers on how to include people with developmental and physical disabilities. You can use camps.ca to find local special needs camps.

    What did he like about camp? "Dad," he said to me, "I made lots of friends."

    When Ryan was 11, he went away to camp for two weeks. The camp staff said: "You tell us what he needs and we can make it happen."

    One of the older campers, who was 14, was Ryan's mentor and stayed with him during the day. Ryan wasn't yet toilet trained and needed help in feeding and staying on task. But he swam and rode a horse that summer. That was six years ago and he still talks about it.

    For the past five years, Ryan has been going to an Easter Seals camp, where he now is a counsellor-in- training. He helps out with the dishes and swimming and canoeing lessons.

    Mandy Koolen, co-ordinator for Easter Seals' 66 camps, says their programs are designed to ensure that kids achieve their maximum potential, regardless of their ability.

    I know it works. I've seen first hand how kids develop confidence and self esteem and leave camp saying, "I can do this."

    Ryan now is 20 and a leader at school. He volunteers with senior citizens and reads to a kindergarten class. He's working at a hardware store and at a health club. He's visible, he's seen helping out. Being at camp was a critical part of his development. Camp becomes everything for a child with a disability.

    All of a sudden, they're holding their heads high. Their faces are lit up. I've seen it. I know it happens.



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