Day Camps: Special Needs

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Camp Hamwi offers summer activities as well as diabetes education.

Editor’s note: Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many camp organizers are either moving their 2020 summer camps to online offerings or canceling their programs for this year. The state of Ohio declared May 14 that day camps would be allowed to operate under specific guidelines as of May 31, so some camps are still taking place in person, though with special precautions. This list, part of our 2020 Columbus Parent Summer Camp Guide, was accurate at the time our Spring issue came out in early March, but many camp plans have changed since, so be sure to contact the organizer of any camp you have already enrolled in or are hoping to sign up for to confirm whether it is still taking place.

Central Ohio Diabetes Association: Camp Hamwi

Ages served: 3-7

Dates/times: 6/22-6/27; full day (6+ hours)

Description: Campers explore their potential, try different activities, build friendships and learn about diabetes. Stepping Stones includes an overnight stay on Friday to explore what camping is all about.

Cost: $100; fee waivers available based on income

Camp location: Ohio Dominican University - Peace Hall, 2600 Airport Drive, Columbus

For more information: Cathy Paessun, cpaessun@lifecarealliance.org, 614-437-2918, diabetesohio.org 

Columbus Recreation and Parks: Summer of Fun and Adventure Day Camp

Ages served: 6-21

Dates/times: 6/8-8/7; full day (6+ hours)

Description: This is an inclusive day camp for youth with disabilities as well as those without. Campers engage in theme-based activities that encourage social interaction, leisure awareness, skill development and active participation to develop self-confidence. Activities are adapted as needed to promote independence.

Cost: $90 to $200

Camp location: Franklin Park Adventure Center, 1755 E. Broad St.; Dodge Community Center, 667 Sullivant Ave.; and Thompson Community Center, 1189 Dennison Ave., all Columbus

For more information: Mary Beth Moore, mbmoore@columbus.gov, 614-645-5648, columbus.gov/recreationandparks/programs/therapeutic-recreation

Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio Inc.: Easterseals Summer Day Camp

Ages served: 3-14

Dates/times: 6/15-7/24; full day (6+ hours)

Description: Easterseals Summer Day Camp offers recreational experience for children with and without special needs. The six-week program is open to children ages 3-14.

Cost: $1,500 to $1,900

Camp location: Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio, 3830 Trueman Court, Hilliard

For more information: Christopher Smith, csmith@easterseals-cseohio.org, 614-228-5523, easterseals.com/centralohio/our-programs/camping-recreation/summer-day-camp.html 

JCC of Greater Columbus: Camp Arye

Ages served: 5-22

Dates/times: 6/6-7/31; full day (6+ hours)

Description: Camp Arye is designed for campers with special needs, including physical, cognitive, emotional, developmental and learning disabilities. Days are filled with traditional summer camp activities such as adaptive physical education, music, art, nature, movement, free swim and socialization.

Cost: $410 to $430

Camp location: JCC of Greater Columbus/Camp Hoover, 1125 College Ave., Columbus

For more information: Ronnie Conn, rconn@columbusjcc.org, 614-559-6279, columbusjcc.org/summer-camps/camp-arye 

The Learning Spectrum Central: Rock the Summer 2020

Ages served: 2½-22

Dates/times: 6/15-7/16; full day (6+ hours)

Description: Rock the Summer 2020 meets Monday through Thursday and is centered around educational enrichment through naturalistic programming for children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities.

Cost: $2,250 plus $100 registration fee

Camp location: The Learning Spectrum, 125 Dillmont Drive, Columbus

For more information: Samantha Angelas, sangelas@thelearningspectrum.com, 614-844-5433, thelearningspectrum.com 

The Learning Spectrum North East: Rock the Summer 2020

Ages served: 2½-22

Dates/times: 6/15-7/16; full day (6+ hours)

Description: Rock the Summer 2020 meets Monday through Thursday and is centered around educational enrichment through naturalistic programming for children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities.

Cost: $2,250 plus $100 registration fee.

Camp location: The Learning Spectrum, 3060 Johnstown Utica Road, Johnstown

For more information: Stacie McConnell, smcconnell@thelearningspectrum.com, 740-759-7099, thelearningspectrum.com 

The Learning Spectrum South: Rock the Summer 2020

Ages served: 2½-22

Dates/times: 6/15-7/16; full day (6+ hours)

Description: Rock the Summer 2020 meets Monday through Thursday and is centered around educational enrichment through naturalistic programming for children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities.

Cost: $2,250 plus $100 registration fee.

Camp location: The Learning Spectrum, 122 Washington St., Suite 401, Canal Winchester

For more information: Audra Milliken, amilliken@thelearningspectrum.com, 614-834-1114, thelearningspectrum.com 

Recreation Unlimited Farm and Fun Inc.: Recreation Unlimited

Ages served: 5-22

Dates/times: 6/29-7/31; full day (6+ hours)

Description: Recreation Unlimited summer day camps provide a full schedule of activities, lunch and snack, counselors, program leaders, on-site nursing care and a new adventure every day. Activities are individually adapted so everyone has a level of recreation, independence and social interaction. Examples include swimming, fishing, canoeing, climbing, sports, archery, creeking, nature exploration, arts and crafts, cooking, campfires and dancing. 

Cost: $325

Camp location: Recreation Unlimited, 7700 Piper Road, Ashley

For more information: David Hudler, dhudler@recreationunlimited.org, 740-548-7006, recreationunlimited.org

St. Vincent Family Center: St. Vincent Summer Prep Academy

Ages served: 3-12

Dates/times: 6/8-8/14; full day (6+ hours)

Description: St. Vincent Summer Prep Academy provides behavioral health care in a small group setting, giving students the tools to manage their needs and behaviors while participating in a camp program. Children enjoy outdoor time, team-focused activities and playful, healthy experiences that prepare them for a successful school year ahead. Transportation is provided.

Cost: None; services are funded by medical insurance 

Camp location: St. Vincent Family Center, 1490 E. Main St., Columbus

For more information: Nicole Kahler, nkahler@svfc.org, 614-824-5437, svfc.org

2020 Columbus Parent Summer Camp Guide