Before you start your Camp America application, let us tell you more about what's involved...
You don't need previous experience, it's rewarding and you get to make a difference!
These camps cater for children and adults who require a specific type of care due to a disability. We work with a wide variety of camps that look after campers with learning and emotional needs as well as physical and mental disabilities. Some camps may specialise in severe physical disabilities, whereas others will be for campers with behavioural disorders such as ADHD or autism. These camps offer both the camper and their parents a break from their day to day routine, so knowing that you are helping not just the campers but their carers as well, provides you with an incredibly rewarding experience!
There will be similar activities as other camps and depending on the campers needs, equipment and facilities can be adapted to allow all campers to make use of them. These camps tend to have less 'competitive' sports and concentrate more on small group activities to allow the campers to socialise in a relaxed and happy setting. These camps generally have cabin accommodation and Counsellors will live with their assigned campers. In each bunk there will be a mix of Counsellors with prior experience and staff who are new to this type of role. Campower staff will live separately to the campers.
Special Needs Camps provide a summer camp experience for campers with additional needs who can be aged anywhere from 8-80 years old! The ratio of Counsellors to campers is usually higher on these camps, due to the personal care and attention that the campers will require. The best thing about this is you get to form amazing bonds with your campers - which provides you a unique and rewarding experience. Campers will usually come from the local area and normally stay for 1-2 weeks with many of the campers returning year after year. Longer training is normally provided as you will need to learn all about your campers and the support they need.
You don't need to have any previous experience to work with campers with additional needs! It's the right kind of people rather than experience that make these camps work. Obviously if you do have experience working in this field, then you’d be perfect for these camps! Either way you will receive a lot of on the job support and training. So if you're prepared to put the campers first, work hard and approach sometimes challenging situations with a smile, then make sure you tell us that you're willing to work on a Special Needs Camp in your application.
Ash's Special Needs Camp Experience...
"I never anticipated the life changing effect that going to Camp has had on my life. I had NO experience working with disabilities and now it is highly likely that I will go down that route for a career! It is undoubtedly the most rewarding and amazing experience that anyone can ask for! Camp is not only an experience to remember but it has also opened up so many fantastic opportunities that I would never of associated myself with beforehand. I now have friends from all corners of the Globe that are as close as family. Camp has now become a ‘home’ and there is never a day that goes by were I don’t think about being there!"