A Guide to Summer Camps

Summer is just around the corner. So, we’ve put together a list of camps in Missouri and Kansas designed especially for children and teens with special needs. With so many choices, chances are there is one for you or your loved one.

  • Boy Scouts Rotary Scout Camp (Lee’s Summit, MO) offers long-term camping experience to Boy Scouts with special needs.
  • Camp Barnabas (Purdy, MO – southwest Missouri) is a residential camp which focuses on people with all types of disabilities. Campers can be anywhere from 7 to 35, depending on their disability. Each session is directed to specific needs: developmental disabled, physically disabled, autistic/Asperger’s, blind/visually impaired, deaf/hearing impaired, amputees, chronic illnesses.
  • Camp ChiMer (National Kidney Foundation of Kansas and Western Mo. and Children’s Mercy Hospital) is located east of Excelsior Springs, MO. It offers overnight outdoor experiences for children 8-18 who undergo dialysis or who have had a kidney transplant. There is on-site medical care and no fee for those whose applications are accepted.
  • Camp Encourage (held at Tall Oaks Conference Center in Linwood, KS) is tailored to children with autism, Asperger and related pervasive developmental disorders. Peer models (children without an autism spectrum disorder) will also participate in the camp.
  • Camp Erin (held at the Heartland Presbyterian Center, Parkville, MO) is a two-day, overnight camp for kids ages 6 to 17 who are grieving the death of someone close to them. Staffed by certified grief counselors and hosted by Kansas City Hospice, this camp is free and early application is recommended.
  • Camp Hickory Hill (Columbia, MO) is a summer camp for children with diabetes. They offer a supportive medically supervised environment where children with type 1 diabetes, ages 8-17 have an opportunity to discover kindred spirits, build self-confidence, learn about managing their diabetes more independently and have a whole lot of fun.
  • Camp MITIOG (Excelsior Springs, MO) is a camp for young people with spina bifida. All of the traditional camping activities are offered, with a one to one camper/counselor ratio and medical staff on-site.
  • Camp Planet D – Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) is an overnight camp for kids with diabetes, ages 7 to 14. Newly diagnosed and first time attendees receive priority admission.
  • Camp Wilderness (Lawson, MO) accepts children with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Ages 7 to 17 welcome. This year’s camp is the week of August 6.
  • CLO’s Midnight Farm Day Camp (Baldwin City, KS) Midnight Farm will hold two day camps for children with Autism. Activities include crafts, singing, animal interactions and more. Horseback riding will be available for an additional fee.  For registration information, contact campdirector@clokan.org or call Diane Bannerman Juracek at (785) 218-9329.
  • Girl Scouts Juliette Low Camp (Jackson County, MO) is held at Rotary Youth Camp at Lake Jacomo for girls with physical disabilities, ages 8-18. Campers are encouraged to invite friends without disabilities to share the camp experience with them. This is an overnight camp, lasting six nights.
  • Horsin’ Around at Midnight Farm Horsin’ Around is a horsemanship day camp for children ages 6-16 with or without special needs. Campers will learn riding skills, general horse knowledge and ground skills to help them become well-rounded riders. Camp will also include horse-themed crafts, games, pony parade and a horse show on the last day.  For registration information, e-mail dionnenewton@clokan.org or call (785) 979-1889.
  • Joint Adventures (Missouri) is a five-night overnight camp for children with rheumatic diseases.  For more information, contact the Department of Rheumatology at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
  • Joshua Center Summer Camp (Kansas City, MO) is sponsoring a summer overnight camp at Lake Jacomo (Rotary Youth Club Camp) for five days/four nights in June. The camp is for 3rd– to 8th-graders with Tourette Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
  • Midwest Brachial Plexus Network, Inc. and Rotary Youth Organization (Lee’s Summit, MO) offer a three-day, overnight camp for children with brachial plexus birth injuries.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Camp is a one-week residential camp for anyone ages 6 to 21 with a neuromuscular disease. Contact the local MDA office for details at (913) 859-0632.
  • Sertoma Fantasy Sports Camp (Overland Park, KS) will sponsor a three-day camp for children with speech and hearing disorders last summer. Baseball and lacrosse instruction were provided. Interpreters were on-site to help with instruction.
  • Sertoma-Schiefelbusch Communication Camp (Lawrence, KS) is a collaborative effort between the Lawrence Sertoma Club and the Shiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at KU. The camp is open to children ages 4 to 10 with and without communication challenges. 2012 camp session will be June 18-29.
  • Successful Sounds (Overland Park, KS) – for vocal children ages 4-10 with immature or delayed social and play skills, Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction and related play/social delays.
  • Sugar Creek Equinapy (Pleasant Hill, MO) offers summer therapeutic riding programs for special needs children.
  • Superkids Summer Asthma Camp (Asthma & Allergy Foundation of Greater Kansas City.) For asthmatic children who have completed grades 2-6.  July 9-13, 2012 for grades 1-3, and July 23-27 for grades 4-6. Children will learn about asthma management through crafts, games and outdoor activities, including swimming. Medical professionals are always on hand. An inspiring and empowering week for children (and lots of FUN!)
  • Wonderland Camp (Lake of the Ozarks) is a residential camp for children with developmental and physical challenges. All of the traditional camp activities are offered. There are also special weeks for children with Prader Willi Syndrome and brain injuries. Plus a wheelchair accessible tree house!