Summer Camps and Activities in Texas with Special Needs Adaptations
There are many summer camps in Texas that provide opportunities for kids with special needs. From overnight camps that boast campuses with wide sidewalks and ramps, to day programs that let you socialize all day and go home, there are options for kids of all abilities and health care needs. If you’re looking for something to do this summer, check out these adaptive camp opportunities for 2023!
Adaptive Summer Camps
Texas Elks Camp https://www.texaselkscamp.com/
Texas Elks Camp is nestled next to Palmetto State Park on 10 rural acres between Luling and Gonzales. The camp provides children with special needs and children in foster care an opportunity to try new things, meet new friends and make memories that will last a lifetime. Campers are encouraged to make their own decisions, become more independent and accept new challenges. Any child with special needs or in foster care age 7 to 21, who is a resident of the state of Texas is eligible for admission to the Texas Elks Camp. No child is denied acceptance on the basis of his or her income level, ethnic origin, race, creed, color or religion. There is no fee. Campers are accepted on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Camp Summit https://www.campsummittx.org/
Camp Summit is is located in Paradise, Texas, just north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on 460 acres of land. Camp Summit is a one-of-a-kind camp for individuals with disabilities where the emphasis is on each campers' abilities rather than their disabilities. With their specialized equipment and trained, caring staff, Summit campers can enjoy a truly barrier-free camp experience with traditional camp activities like archery, swimming, ropes course, arts & crafts, and much more. All activities are adapted so that everyone can participate. Campers are grouped by age, providing the opportunity to make friends within peer groups while having fun and experiencing new adventures. Camp Summit does not turn away a camper due to the severity of a disability, or an inability to pay.
Camp CAMP (Children’s Association for Maximum Potential) https://campcamp.org/campers/summer/
Summer Camp sessions are held at Camp CAMP in Center Point, Texas, on a beautiful 55-acre property along the Guadalupe River. Summer Camp is a series of 6-day/5-night sessions for children and adults, aged 5 to 55 years, with mild to severe medical conditions or disabilities (including medical, physical, intellectual, and developmental). Siblings aged 5-13 years without a medical condition or disability may attend as well!
CAMP modifies traditional summer camp activities to meet the unique needs of each camper. Campers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities such as canoeing, horseback riding, swimming, music, sports & recreation, arts & crafts, and outdoor cooking.
Respite Weekend Camps are also held monthly throughout the school year (September – May), giving campers with medical conditions or disabilities, aged 5 to 55 years, an opportunity to enjoy an overnight camping experience.
Texas Lions Camp https://www.lionscamp.com/
Texas Lions Camp, located in Kerrville, TX, is for children with special health care needs including cancer, diabetes, Down Syndrome, and physical disabilities. Ages vary depending on the specific program. Texas Lions Camp was founded on the principle that every child is deserving of a happy childhood. By inviting children to participate in activities they may have otherwise believed out of their reach, we hope to help them improve their self-esteem and step into their life's calling.
Camp For All https://www.campforall.org/about/camp-for-all/
Camp For All, located in Burton, Texas, was designed with no barriers for children and adults with special needs to experience the thrill of camping and nature, just like their able-bodied peers. They intentionally deliver unique, truly barrier-free experiences throughout the year by collaborating with multiple not-for-profit organizations to enable thousands of campers and their families. This means there are a wide array of programs and dates for campers to choose from!
Easter Seals Greater Houston Camps
Camp Buckaroo is a week-long day camp for children with disabilities (ages 6-15) and their siblings (ages 6-10) to attend together. Campers are paired 1:1 with a volunteer, who acts as their buddy throughout the week and helps to lead them through activities.
Camp Smiles is a week-long overnight camp for children with cerebral palsy or similar neurological disorders, ages 6-15 years old. Each camper is paired 1:1 with a volunteer for the week, who acts as their buddy and person caregiver: assisting them with activities of daily life and helping them participate in activities! Each day, campers participate in awesome adapted activities like zip-lining, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, archery, swimming, karaoke, and so much more. Summer 2023 dates are July 2nd-7th.
Camp Fire: Camp El Tesoro https://www.campfirefw.org/camps/overnight-camps/inclusion-program/
You CAN at Camp El Tesoro, located in Granbury, TX. El Tesoro’s overnight camp has inspired boys & girls to let their curiosity be their guide – to nature, their world and what they can accomplish! The wide range of activities from horseback riding and archery to crafts, swimming and drama create opportunities that show each camper they can achieve whatever they set their minds to. Camp Fire believes in the dignity and the intrinsic worth of every human being. They welcome, affirm, and support young people and adults of all abilities and disabilities, experiences, races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, religion and non-religion, citizenship and immigration status, and any other category people use to define themselves or others. They strive to create safe and inclusive environments that celebrate diversity and foster positive relationships.
Adaptive Day Camps and Day Cares
H.E.R.O.E.S (Richardson) https://heroesdfw.org/programs/
H.E.R.O.E.S. is all about Helping Everyone Reach Outstanding Educational Success. Their day camp is a setting where kids with and without special needs can participate in an array of age and ability-based activities. Designed to meet the unique needs of every person, students experience an array of therapies, social skills training, team building activities, vocational training and facilitation of their independence. H.E.R.O.E.S. accepts all students no matter what physical, cognitive, medical or behavioral needs that they require. All campers are pushed to maximum participation and independence.
Sammy’s House (Austin) https://sammyshouse.org/programs/
Sammy’s House started out in 1999 as a home-based childcare center in Austin, Texas. Today, their child development center and respite care program is proud to serve over 100 children in the Austin area every year.
Morgan’s Wonderland (San Antonio) https://morganswonderland.com/
Morgan’s Wonderland is the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment. The completely wheelchair-accessible park features more than 25 elements including rides and playgrounds. Anyone with a special need is admitted free of charge, no questions asked. Morgan's even offers water-proof wheelchairs and strollers for guests to enjoy the splash park Morgan's Inspiration Island.
Central Texas Children’s Center (Temple) https://centexchildrenscenter.com/services/
CTCC’s main priority is the education of children with special needs. Their program is designed to create a fully inclusive environment for all children. Located in Temple, TX, they offer after school, summer programs, and respite care.
Verne Cox Multipurpose Recreation Center (Pasadena) https://www.pasadenatx.gov/189/Adaptive-Recreation
The Verne Cox Multipurpose Recreation Center is a facility specifically dedicated to recreational activities, programs, and events for youth and adults with disabilities. With a wide variety of programs year-round, the Verne Cox Multipurpose Recreation Center serves persons ages 5 to 95 years of age with any type of physical and/or intellectual disability.