From Colorado to California to New York, ADHD summer camps have been flourishing across the United States for decades. The wide variety of ADHD summer camps available is a good indication that many parents are in search of a therapeutic program where their ADHD child can make friends, learn social skills, and keep up with schoolwork during the summer vacation.
In addition to seeking recreational, social, and educational opportunities at an ADHD summer camp, the ADHD child also has special needs that must be addressed while they are away from home. To meet these needs, an all-inclusive ADHD summer camp should have a staff of medical personnel, counselors, teachers, therapists, and more. The ADHD summer camp is also typically different from a traditional summer camp in its student-to-counselor ratio; most ADHD summer camps are structured so that there’s an average of one counselor for every 3 or 4 campers.
When searching for an ADHD summer camp, parents should ask a lot of questions to make sure that the camp is appropriate for their needs. Some of the questions a parent might ask include:
- Do you provide a special diet or can you accommodate a special ADHD diet?
- What is the student-to-counselor ratio?
- Do you hold academic classes to help kids keep up with their schoolwork over the summer?
- Does your camp have a religious affiliation?
- What opportunities will there be for my child to make friends and build social skills?
As an example of the ADHD summer camp choices available, here is a partial list of ADHD summer camps in the United States. This list is not a recommendation of any camp and parents should thoroughly investigate all camps before deciding where to send their child.
The Learning Camp (www.learningcamp.com): The Learning Camp was started 12 years ago by a mother of a child diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Located on 35 acres in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, The Learning Camp provides academic programs, tutoring, and outdoor adventures for ADHD boys and girls from the ages of 7 to 14.
Success Oriented Achievement Realized (www.soarnc.org): Success Oriented Achievement Realized, or SOAR, is a wilderness adventure program for boys and girls from the ages of 8 to 18 who have ADHD and/or learning disabilities. SOAR programs are located in North Carolina, Wyoming, Florida, California, Costa Rica, and Peru. These programs emphasize self-esteem, self-reliance, time-management skills, and more.
Summit Camp (www.summitcamp.com): Located in New York, Summit Camp offers a summer experience for both boys and girls, ages 7 to 17, who have attention difficulties as well as other mind social and emotional disorders.
Charis Hills (www.charishills.org): At Charis Hills, campers receive specialized ADHD academic reinforcement while also participating in a Texas-based, traditional summer camping program.
Camp Huntington (www.camphuntington.com): Established in New York in 1961, the Camp Huntington program focuses on adaptive and therapeutic recreation. The activities include arts and crafts, woodworking, computers, and much more, as well as opportunities to socialize and build self-esteem.
Talisman Programs (www.talismancamps.com): Accredited by the American Camping Association and located in North Carolina, Talisman Programs offer summer camps and semester-length programs for ADHD children as well as those with learning disabilities and other developmental concerns.