•The ABLE Academy, a private non-profit institution for children with special needs, offers a summer camp program for children pre-k through high school. This program is currently full with an extensive waitlist. Call 239-352-7600.
• Camp Able. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Marco Island offers the opportunity for children with special needs to experience an overnight camp July 12-16. (They also provide a day camp option.) All meals are included, and there are dormitory-style accommodations. Visit www.cam-pable.org or call St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 239-394-7242.
•The City of Naples offers a sum-mer camp option for children with special needs at River Park, and it currently has an extensive wait list. For more information or to be placed on the waitlist, call 239-213-3037.
•Collier County Parks and Recreation offers inclusion opportunities as well as summer camps specifi-cally designed for children with special needs. For more information, visit the office at the North Collier Regional Park, or visit www.collierparks.com.
• Easterseals in Naples is planning a unique summer program for indi-viduals with special needs ages 11-22. There will be two three-week sessions (M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) jam-packed with fun, friendship, learning, field trips, and more. Session 1 is June 12-30 and Session 2 is July 10-28. Both programs are located at 8793 Tamiami Trail E., Suite 111, Naples. Contact Michelle Turchetta at 239-403-0366 or email@example.com. com. Space is limited.
• Lighthouse of Collier – Center for Vision and Blindness. This non-profit organization offers a summer camp program July 5-August 4 for children who are blind and visually impaired. The education curriculum focuses on helping children with the following: com-pensatory skills, such as communication modes; orientation and mobility; social interaction skills; independent living skills; recreation and leisure skills; career education; use of assistive technology; self-determination; and visual efficiency skills – all of which help children feel safe in a sighted world. The program is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., M-F. Call 239-430-3934.
• Naples Performing Arts Center offers its “I’m a Star!” program year-round. It gives students with intellectual challenges numerous opportunities to be “stars” and shine on the stage. They are challenged with music theory curriculum, vocal and acting classes, and specially designed choreography. Students perform in various community events, open up for NPAC’s JuniorStage and MainStage productions and hold their very own I’m a STAR Showcase each season. For more information, visit naplesperformingartscenter.com or call 239-597-6722.
• Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (formerly Naples Equestrian Challenge) is a non-profit horseman-ship organization that provides thera-peutic riding opportunities for special needs children. This summer, it is offering summer camp opportunities for special needs children during June and July. For more information, visit www.naples-therapeuticridingcenter.org.
• Audra Boxma, Kathleen Meyerson, and Julie McKenzie are offering a therapeutic summer camp with four hours of therapy each day focusing on social skills, emotional regulation, anger management, self esteem, occupational therapy, aca-demic, and executive functioning skills. Camp is available for elementary, middle, and high school students. Space is limited. Call 239-963-7274.
Many summer camps make ac-commodations for children with special needs on a case-by-case basis. For example, at the Greater Naples YMCA, “We do not currently have a camp specifically for children with special needs,” said summer camp co-ordinator, Katie Nelson. “Although we do have children in our traditional day camp who have autism, ADHD, ADD, and other unique needs. My advice to parents is that they reach out to the camp director before they register to see if the camp would be a good fit.” Contact Nelson at 239-571-9023.
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is another such camp. “Since C’mon has a commit-ment to have access for all, we are open to a case-by-case evaluation,” said Beth Housewert, director of play and learning. ”We do not have specifically designed camps for students with special needs, but have staff who specialize in accessibility and instruction for children with special needs.”