Camp James is offered to campers of all different abilities. Extending camp to children with special needs benefits our entire camp community. To attend camp, children must be able to feed , dress, and toilet themselves. If a child cannot do one of these requirements, parents can provide a professional aide to assist them. It is important to be honest with our staff as to the nature of your child’s situation. Parents are often a key provider of information that can help us do a better job of working with your camper. If our program is not a good fit for your family, we will make an effort to assist with finding a camp that may suit your needs better. Becasue we have been in Orange County for over 25 years, we can be a resource for other programs in the Orange County area.
Camp James does extend the offer for children needing a little additional support to request a shadow at no additional cost. These teen volunteers can assist children who may need a little additional help in social skills, staying with the group, and transitioning from one activity to the next. Please note that the teen shadow may change during your camper’s time at camp due to scheduling issues and is ideally designed to be used with children high on the spectrum and or children who do not typically have a full-time professional aide at school. If your child has been assigned a volunteer teen shadow, it is a kind gesture to give a note of “Thanks” to this volunteer for their efforts to help your child succeed at camp. They cherish hand-made cards made by campers or thank you notes from parents.
Requirements to receive a free shadow:
- Camper must be registered for at least ten days of camp; we recommend a consistent schedule as children tend to do better with routines.
- Diagnosis must be specified.
- Mark the box requesting assistance that is part of the health form.
- Call the office as soon as you know your child will not be attending camp on their registered day so we can reassign this volunteer elsewhere.
- Advanced registration is required in order to have a shadow assigned.
- There is NO guarantee that a shadow will be available but we make every effort to fulfill each families request. (***Please note: Shadows may not be available weeks 9 and 10 [Aug. 15-26]).
Children needing more professional assistance are welcome to attend camp but should contact the camp office first to discuss if Camp James is a good fit for your child.
Camp James may not be a good fit with children who have issues with:
- loud noises
- variety of activities/lots of transitioning
- following a set schedule
- sand and sunshine
- being outdoors
- water activities
If you plan on providing a professional aide, click here for the Camp James Shadow Policy & Form.