Special Needs Camps

I am working on a list of upcoming camps for campers with special needs. Please let me know of any in NC that I am missing.


Camp D.I.C.E. in Charlotte, NC

Spring registration will begin
February 15,2019


April 15, 2019 – April 19,2019
Mon.-Fri. 8:00am-3:00pm

Activities: Therapy, Sensory time, Movies, Arts & Crafts, and much more.

Day Camp Summer Sessions will run from June 17 to August 9, 8am – 4pm.


Camp Needles in the Pines for diabetic children – Eastern Carolina

Camp Needles in the Pines, located in Eastern North Carolina, is a one week residential camp for children with type 1 diabetes ages 8 to 14 years. Activities include swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, archery, crafts, rifle range, tenting, and improved self-help skills. Camp is located at Camp Boddie, Boy Scout Camp at Blounts Creek, NC. The camp will be held July 21-26, 2019.

Insulin, meters and strips are provided at camp. Parents will be asked to take the camper’s home meter with them when they leave. If you take any medications other than insulin you will need to bring it with you. If you wear an insulin pump you will need to bring your pump supplies including reservoirs, infusion sets, and/or Pods, and tape.

The medical staff consists of volunteers from the hospital, medical school, and university. If you are a health care professional interested in volunteering for camp please contact Lynne Braxton at braxtonc@ecu.edu.

Registration deadline is May 15, 2019.


Camp Victory Junction – Randleman, NC 

Ages 6-16, residential

June 9-13 (Sunday-Thursday) Cerebral Palsy
June 16-20 (Sunday-Thursday) Diabetes
June 23-27 (Sunday-Thursday) Bleeding Disorders/GI Disorders
June 30 – July 3 (Sunday-Wednesday) Neurological/Genetic Disorders
July 7-11 (Sunday-Thursday) Sickle Cell/Cancer
July 14-18 (Sunday-Thursday) Heart/Lung/Kidney
July 21-25 (Sunday-Thursday) Spina Bifida/Neuromuscular Disorders/Craniofacial Anomalies/Physical Disabilities
July 28 – August 1 (Sunday-Thursday) Rheumatology/Immunology/General Session
August 4-8 (Sunday-Thursday) Muscular Dystrophy


Camp Carefree – Stokesdale, NC

applications for summer 2019 coming soon
camping weeks each summer for campers aged 6 to 16:

cancer – leukemia & other cancers, JRA
spina bifida – spinal cord disorders & injuries
neuro-epilepsy & neurological disorders
hemophilia –blood disorders, von Willebrand’s & Turner syndrome
siblings – well children with a chronically ill sibling
kids – well children with a chronically ill parent


N.C. Therapeutic Riding Center – Mebane, NC

Inclusive Summer Day Camps are open to children ages 5-12, with or without disabilities. Campers participate in a variety of activities from 9 am – 2 pm each day, including horseback riding, arts and crafts, learning about farm animals, and painting ponies.

2019 Summer Camp Dates: June 17 – 21, June 24 – 28, July 8 – 16, July 15 – 19, July 22 – 26, July 29 – August 2


Camp Royall for People with Autism – Pittsboro, NC

Week-long residential and day camp sessions from age 4 up to older adults. Campers are assigned to weeks according to their age and level. Camp Royall provides typical camp activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, hiking, hayrides, and boating in a structured environment to meet the needs of their campers.


Camp Horizon in Boomer and Camp Holiday near Charlotte

Camp Holiday is a six-week day camp for campers with Down syndrome, ages 5-21. Participants may choose from two 2-week sessions. June 17-28  or July 15-26. Camp hours are from 9am – 4pm daily. Campers enjoy weekly yoga, drama and music/movement classes facilitated by trained professionals.

Camp Horizon is a 4-day/3-night traditional overnight camp experience at YMCA Camp Harrison in Boomer, NC. Participating campers with Down syndrome, ages 10-17, enjoy traditional camp activities, including horseback riding, arts & crafts, boating, fishing, swimming and more.  August 11- 14, 2019.


American Diabetes Association Camp Carolina Trails in King, NC

The American Diabetes Association Camp Carolina Trails is an exciting week of summer fun for boys and girls entering grades 3 through 11. Camp includes many sports and activities such as swimming, hiking, canoeing, and arts and crafts. It will be held at YMCA Camp Hanes on 400 acres next to Hanging Rock State Park. Dates TBA.


Therapeutic Recreation Summer Day Camp – Mecklenburg County

Registration begins on February 15, 2019, at 9am. Camp is open from 7:30a-5:30pm

Week 1 – June 17-21, Week 2 – June 24-28, No camp the week of July 4th, Week 3 – July 8-12, Week 4 – July 15-19, Week 5 – July 22-26, Week 6 – July 29-Aug 2, Week 7 – August 5-9, Week 8 – August 12-16

For questions please call 980-314-1300 or TRInfo@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov


Aloha for Alopecia – Surfing Camp for Kids on Topsail Island, NC

A complimentary day of fun in the sun on Topsail Island, NC.  The morning will begin with fellowship, plenty of sunscreen, and ground surf school.  Participants will then hit the beautiful warm ocean with professional, certified instructors. Kids ages 5-9 will enjoy boogie boarding while participants aged 10+ will learn how to surf. Dates TBA.


Surfers Healing surf camp for children with autism Wrightsville Beach, NC

The mission of Surfers Healing is to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing.

Monday, August 19th, 2019 REGISTRATION DATE: APRIL 6TH-12TH, 2019

Camp SOAR for kids with ADHD in Balsam, NC

SOAR is a private, non-profit outdoor adventure summer camp serving youth and young adults with learning disabilities and/or AD/HD.  SOAR serves both males and females, ages 8-25.  Most SOAR participants are high functioning, intelligent, and struggle with issues such as impulsivity, disorganization, oppositionality, inattention, challenges with social skills, etc.  Some participants may have additional diagnoses such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourettes, high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder, among others. See website for the large variety of camps offered.


The Speech Garden half-day summer camp in Charlotte for ages 2 – 10

The camp purpose is to help improve communication and social skills over the long summer months for children ages two to rising third grade. It follows a structured schedule that combines language development with literacy, music, science, movement and fun. Camp runs for four weeks Monday-Thursday from 9:00 to 12:45.  There is no camp on Fridays. Families may choose to attend all four weeks, or any three of the four designated weeks. Camp begins on Monday, July 8 and ends on Thursday, August 1.


Camp Trusted Parents in Charlotte

The day camp welcomes rising 2-12 grade students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) ages 7-21, and rising 2nd-8th-grade students without IDD, ages 7-14.

The program offers a socialization opportunity that will minimize the invisible line that often separates individuals with special needs from their typical behavior peers. Camp Trusted Parents focuses on building friendships between children with and without special needs, through the use of therapeutic activities and traditional camp recreation, designed to promote fun and socialization. Camp season runs from June 10 to August 2, Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. Half day sessions are also available.


ABC Tutoring Language Stimulation Camp Matthews, NC

Developmentally delayed children can maintain learning and language skills gained during the school year by enrolling in the program. The staff uses thematic units and multi-modal learning strategies to create a fun summer camp experience for children ages 2.5 – early teens. Hours are 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M., Tuesdays through Thursdays, running June 4th through August 8th for the 9-week program or June 11th through August 1st for the 7-week program. They also offer extended day and extended week options.


Talisman Summer Camps for kids with ADHD and/or autism – Zirconia, NC

Four sessions are available: https://talismancamps.com/dates-and-rates/


Life Rolls On adaptive surf clinic at Carolina Beach for people of all ages with disabilities

Hundreds of volunteers, people of all ages with disabilities, and entire families come together for an epic day in the ocean Sunday, August 11th, 2019 from 7:00 am – 4:00 pm at 2 Carolina Beach Ave N at Carolina Beach, NC 28428 (this is the address of Krazy Kones; please go to beach access closest to this business)

Online registration for both athletes and volunteers opens Wednesday, June 26th at 9:00 am.

Camp Friendly – Raleigh Area for all Special Needs 

Ages 6 to 15 years old

Camp Friendly is offered at two locations:

Durant Nature Preserve – Located in Northeast Raleigh, Durant Nature Preserve provides our campers outdoor, open space and opportunities for natural resource-based recreation and environmental experiences. You will find more nature-based, adventure type activities at this location.

Carolina Pines Community Center – Located on Lake Wheeler Road, Carolina Pines hosts many other camps throughout the summer in addition to Camp Friendly. Utilizing the center’s many sports courts and fields, activity rooms and playground, campers will experience a more traditional type of summer day camp experience.

  • Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a curriculum day of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Activities include games, nature, music and movement, arts and crafts and field trips

Camp Friendly offers 3 different sessions according to functional abilities of the camper.

  • Day Session: The Day Session is for campers who can engage appropriately in a small group setting (approximately 6-8 campers with 2-3 staff). Campers are expected to follow basic rules of safety and interaction, have a sufficient level of independence with toileting, feeding and personal care needs, and easily understand and follow directions.
  • Mini Session: Mini Sessions are available for campers needing more individualized assistance in areas such as behavior management, feeding, personal care & toileting, or who require additional time to process information and directions to safely engage and participate. Campers are included in a small group environment with campers. An additional counselor is available to the group for each mini camper, to provide the additional support as needed. Counselors are not able to provide a separate, individualized camp curriculum, or be pulled away from the small group for an extended time.


Camp Exploration in Northeast Raleigh for Ages 16 to 21 years

Camp Exploration is offered at Marsh Creek Community Center, in Northeast Raleigh. Utilizing the center’s gym and fields, activity rooms and playground, campers will experience a traditional summer day camp experience.

  • Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a curriculum day of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Activities include games, nature, music and movement, arts and crafts and field trips.

Camp Exploration offers 2 different sessions according to functional abilities of the camper.

  • Day Session: The Day Session is for campers who can engage appropriately in a small group setting (approximately 6-8 campers with 2-3 staff). Campers are expected to follow basic rules of safety and interaction, be independent with toileting, feeding and personal care needs, and easily understand and follow directions.
  • Personal Assistant: Campers needing more support for behavior, feeding, mobility, participation or personal care & toileting must provide their own personal assistant and register for the Personal Assistant Session. The City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department Personal Assistant Policy requires paperwork to be submitted, and signed, from both the service provider and the parent/guardian of the participant for approval. These forms must be submitted no less than 2 weeks prior to the Personal Assistant attending camp. Forms not submitted by the appropriate deadline will not be processed in time and the Personal Assistant may not be authorized to attend camp.


Camp Blue Skies – Boomer, NC 

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 2:00 PM to Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 10:00 AM or Saturday, October 12, 2019, 2:00 PM to Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 10:00 AM.

At Camp Blue Skies, people who are 21 and older with developmental disabilities will enjoy recreational activities indoors and outside, along with lots of fun and friendship. Campers can challenge themselves in a safe environment to enhance their interests and abilities while increasing social skills and confidence.

Camper applications will open in early June.
Volunteers can apply today: CampBlueSkies.org/volunteer



Last year, these camps were open, but I do not have details for this year yet:

Abilitations Children’s Therapy & Wellness Center’s Summer Musical Theater in Raleigh

Camp Boomerang at Brace YMCA in Matthews, NC


4 thoughts on “Special Needs Camps

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