How Does Summer Camp Help?

Why is Summer Camp Beneficial to Children With Special Needs? Special-Needs Children:

  • Have stressful lives
  • Often lack positive life experiences
  • Are often social outcasts
  • Usually have low self-esteem/self-confidence
  • Often lack positive role-models

At Camp they get:

  • Respite from the stresses of their daily lives
  • New & exciting experiences
  • Many new friends
  • Opportunities to succeed daily
  • Exposure to positive role-models through carefully selected camp staff
At camp, children are not their reputations or diagnoses; they are individuals who are just as likely to succeed as the next child.

What Makes Our Camp So Special?

What comes to your mind when you think of summer camp? Swimming in a lake, making a craft for mom, or finding new friends? Those are some of the things we strive for at Camp New Horizons, as well, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Camp New Horizons is funded in part by the United Way. We work with remarkable children and teens with special needs. When I asked one of our long-time campers how he felt about being put into that category, this is what he said: “Well, it’s the truth. Some people can’t handle the truth, but I can!” He is a brave young man working alongside other teens to battle the stigma that accompanies the label of “mental illness”. That is what we do. We welcome each of these kids, who would not be successful at other camps, to be a kid for a week. We hike, make crafts, and get to know one another while also building life skills and disintegrating stigma. This year we will accomplish that by being present in the community like never before. Each activity will create an opportunity for the kids to stretch and grow, and that is the magic that happens each summer at Camp New Horizons. As staff members, we are privileged to meet these kids who change our lives as they transform their own. They are resilient, they are full of hope, and their enthusiasm is contagious.

For many kids, camp is the one week that they look forward to all year long. Our campers come back to be counselors, and they grow up to be the community that supports us today.

As a parent, you don’t need to worry about the safety of your child at camp. Our staff is trained to respond appropriately and professionally to campers having a difficult time. With a staff to camper ratio of 1:2, there is plenty of individual attention.

Each camper will have individualized goals including:

  • Anger Management
  • Coping Skills
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Confidence
  • SocialSkills
  • Learn effective communication skills for use with their caregivers, siblings and peers.