Special Needs Summer Camps – Kansas City
By on April 22nd, 2011



We can’t personally vouch for all of these but wanted to share some options for our Special Needs Families.  Let us know how it goes if you participate in one of the camps….

  • Autism Concepts Inc. (Lenexa, KS) In the past, Autism Concepts has put together (2) 2-week day camps for kids on the autism spectrum who are vocal kindergarten thru middle school students with emerging social and play skills.
  • Blue Valley Recreation (Overland Park, KS) – Blue Valley Rec offers many adapted and integrated leisure activities designed for individuals with disabilities. Includes swim lessons, bowling, dancing, cooking, open swim, open gym, a walking club, T-ball, softball, golf and bocce ball. Single day events include miniature golf, gardening, karaoke and much more!
  • Boy Scouts Rotary Scout Camp (Lee’s Summit, MO) offers long-term camping experience to Boy Scouts with special needs.
  • Brain Balance of Overland Park (OP, KS) – Get a Jumpstart for the Next School Year. The Brain Balance Program can improve your child’s social, academic and behavioral abilities. To find out how – Call (913) 627-9400.
  • Camp Barnabas (Purdy, MO – southwest Missouri) is a residential camp which focuses on people with all types of disabilities. Campers can be anywhere from 7 to 35, depending on their disability. Each session is directed to specific needs: developmental disabled, physically disabled, autistic/Asperger’s, blind/visually impaired, deaf/hearing impaired, amputees, chronic illnesses and others. Siblings are also welcome and have their own programming.
  • Camp Carousel (held at the Heartland Presbyterian Center, Parkville, MO) is a two day camp for families who are grieving the loss of a loved one. This retreat is hosted by Kansas City Hospice and offers relaxation and activities for family members of all ages.
  • Camp ChiMer (National Kidney Foundation of Kansas and Western Mo. and Children’s Mercy Hospital) is located east of Excelsior Springs, MO. It offers overnight outdoor experiences for children 8-18 who undergo dialysis or who have had a kidney transplant. There is on-site medical care and no fee for those whose applications are accepted. This year’s camp runs from August 5th thru 9th.
  • Camp Courage (held at Tall Oaks Conference Center in Linwood, KS) accepts children from ages 6 to 14 with sickle cell disease. No update yet on this one for 2011 – we’ll check back and update! (Has been sponsored byTurning Point in the past.)
  • Camp Encourage (held at Tall Oaks Conference Center in Linwood, KS) is tailored to children with autism, Asperger and related pervasive developmental disorders. Peer models (children without an autism spectrum disorder) will also participate in the camp.
  • Camp Erin (held at the Heartland Presbyterian Center, Parkville, MO) is a two day overnight camp for kids ages 6 to 17 who are grieving the death of someone close to them. Staffed by certified grief counselors and hosted by Kansas City Hospice, this camp is free and early application is recommended.
  • Camp Hickory Hill (Columbia, MO) is a summer camp for children with diabetes. They offer a supportive medically supervised environment where children with type 1 diabetes, ages 8-17 have an opportunity to discover kindred spirits, build self-confidence, learn about managing their diabetes more independently and have a whole lot of fun.
  • Camp Hope (Claflin, KS – about 60 miles from Kansas City) is open for children from 7-18 who are in cancer treatment or in remission from cancer. The camp  runs the third week of June and is staffed by pediatric oncologists and nurses. This is an overnight camp with all of the traditional camp activities. A day camp is offered for kids ages 4-6.
  • Camp MITIOG (Excelsior Springs, MO) is a camp for young people with spina bifida. All of the traditional camping activities are offered, with a one to one camper/counselor ratio and medical staff on-site.
  • Camp Planet D – Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) is an overnight camp for kids with diabetes, ages 7 to 14. Newly diagnosed and first time attendees receive priority admission.
  • Camp Quality (Excelsior Springs, MO) is an overnight camp for children, ages 3- 17 with cancer. This year’s camp is July 30 thru August 4. Every child has an assigned adult “companion” and an on-site oncology specialist is available for every camper.
  • Camp Wilderness (Lawson, MO) accepts children with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Ages 7 to 17 welcome.
  • Cheley / Children’s Hospital Burn Camp (Estes Park, CO) hosts children ages 8 to 18 who have been hospitalized in burn units across the country for a very traditional camp experience with specially trained staff.
  • Children’s Therapy Group (Overland Park, KS) is a multi-disciplinary clinic specializing in sensory integration therapy. This summer, they offer fine motor enhancement classes for preschoolers and kindergarteners, a handwriting class for ages 6-8, cursive writing for kids 7-10, Fun with Language for kids 3-9 who have problems with social, pragmatic and expressive language, sensory motor group for preschoolers, creative arts for kids 6-9 and water fun for kids with behavioral, learning and motor coordination problems.
  • CLO’s Midnight Farm Day Camp (Baldwin City, KS) Midnight Farm will hold three day camps for children with Autism. Camp dates: March 14 -18, 2011, May 31 – June 3 and July 25-29. The July camp will also include free parent training. Activities include crafts, singing, animal interactions and more. Horseback riding will be available for an additional fee.  For registration information please contact or call Diane Bannerman Juracek at 785-218-9329
  • Concerned Care, Inc. (North Kansas City, MO) hosts recreational sports, youth day camp and vocational day camp for young people with developmental disabilities. Campers must be Clay County residents (due to funding issues).
  • Discovery Trails is an experience for teens who are blind or visually impaired. The teens will experience the old pioneer trails leading westward from Kansas City and back. The living history trip lasts 3 weeks and 2800 miles. The teens travel by minivan and camp each night. How cool! (No new itinerary posted yet for 2011, as of 3/4/2011)
  • Girl Scouts Juliette Low Camp (Jackson County, MO) is held at Rotary Youth Camp at Lake Jacomo for girls with physical disabilities, ages 8-18. Campers are encouraged to invite friends without disabilities to share the camp experience with them. This is an overnight camp, lasting 6 nights.
  • Horizon Academy (Roeland Park, KS) sponsors summer classes for kids with average or above average intelligence who are struggling with basic skills due to learning disabilities. This summer, they offer a full summer school program, a reading clinic, a math clinic, a social skills clinic and an art clinic for grades 1-12.
  • H.O.R.S.E. (Helping Others Reach Success and Excellence)/Camp Round-Up (south Kansas City, MO) is a summer day camp for children ages -18 diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This is a horse and horseback riding centered day camp with other traditional camp activities as well. H.O.R.S.E. offers many fun yet therapeutic services for children within the autism spectrum. (Site not updated yet as of 3/4/2011)
  • Horsin’ Around at Midnight Farm Horsin’ Around is a horsemanship day camp held Aug.1 -5, 2011 for children ages 8-16 with or without special needs. Campers will learn riding skills, general horse knowledge and ground skills to help them become well-rounded riders. Camp will also include horse-themed crafts, games, pony parade and a horse show on the last day.  For registration information email or call 785-979-1889.
  • Johnson County Park and Recreation District offers 39 summer camp programs for ages 3-18.  They have programming available for special populations, as well (SEE “NEW HORIZONS CAMP” BELOW).  Dates, locations and fees vary.
  • Joint Adventures (Missouri) is a five-night overnight camp for children with rheumatic diseases.  For more information, contact the Department of Rheumatology at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
  • Joshua Center Summer Camp (Kansas City, MO) is sponsoring a summer overnight camp at Lake Jacomo (Rotary Youth Club Camp) for 5 days/4 nights in June. The camp is for 3rd to 8th graders with Tourette Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
  • Marian Hope Center (Independence, MO) offers social skills camps, handwriting camps, reading camps, speech camp and gross motor planning camp for children with autism and other special needs. (As of March 3, 2011, no new summer info on their website yet – but check back or call them!)
  • Midwest Brachial Plexus Network, Inc. and Rotary Youth Organization (Lee’s Summit, MO) offer a three day overnight camp for children with brachial plexus birth injuries.
  • Missouri Children’s Burn Camp (Lake of the Ozarks, MO) is held at Camp Sabra, a residential camp. This is a program for children ages 6 to 17 with burn injuries and offers traditional camp activities. There is no charge for the camp.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Camp is a one-week residential camp for anyone ages 6 to 21 with a neuromuscular disease. Contact the local MDA office for details – 913-859-0632
  • National Sports Center for the Disabled sponsors AbilityCAMPS and fun sports camps throughout the spring and summer. These are one-time classes for kids 6 to 18, with physical or developmental disabilities. The NSCD helps children with the following disabilities or conditions: ADD, Amputation, Arthritis, Autism, Behavioral Health, Bone Disorder, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Deafness, Developmental Disabilities, Diabetes, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Fragile X, Hemophilia, Learning Disabilities, Little People, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Disorder, Muscular Dystrophy, Nerve Disorders, Neurological Disorders, Paraplegia, Post-Polio, Quadriplegia, Respiratory Disorder, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Substance Abuse and Vision Loss/Blindness. No new info on their site as of 3/4/2011 – so keep an eye on their website for more details to come!
  • New Horizons Camp is sponsored by the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Department. This camp is for children (ages 6-18) with learning, developmental and mental disabilities. This is a nine week day camp but is not a clinical setting, so they are unable to accept kids with special medical needs or behavioral issues which may require restraint.
  • Poss-Abilities Summer Programs (Merriam, KS) – Handwriting help, Kindergarten Prep, Core Exercise and more with licenses occupational therapists, a sensory integration gym and super fun themes all summer! (No 2011 update posted on their site as of 3/4/2011)
  • Premier Therapy Services (office in Kansas City, MO – services at various locations) offers therapy, classes and groups for children with varying communicative needs. Camps focus on developing social skills in peer groups. (Not positive this is up-to-date info – call the number on the PTS website for current info!)
  • Rainbow Center Day Camp (Blue Springs, MO) offers a traditional day camp with activities and field trips for children with special developmental needs such as autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy and other communication or behavioral disorders. (No camp info on their site yet as of 3/4/2011)
  • Sertoma Fantasy Sports Camp (Overland Park, KS) sponsored a three day camp for children with speech and hearing disorders last summer. Baseball and lacrosse instruction were provided. Interpreters were on-site to help with instruction. Keep an eye on their website for 2011 camp details!
  • Sertoma-Schiefelbusch Communication Camp (Lawrence, KS) is a collaborative effort between the Lawrence Sertoma Club and the Shiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at KU. The camp is open to children ages 4 to 10 with and without communication challenges.
  • Sky’s The Limit Studios (Lawrence, KCK and Overland Park, KS) – STL offers specialized art therapy groups for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs.  Check the website for details.
  • Spofford Scamps Summer Day Camp (south Kansas City, MO) holds day camps at their campus near Oakwood Country Club. An unbelievably good resource for Kansas City, Spofford works with children with behavioral issues related to abuse, neglect and mental health disorders. Day camp is offered for children, ages 6-13. Camp goals are related to social skills development, peer interaction, self-confidence and conflict resolution. (2010 info still posted on their site as of 3/4/2011)
  • Successful Sounds (Overland Park, KS) – for vocal children ages 4-10 with immature or delayed social and play skills, Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction and related play/social delays.
  • Sugar Creek Equinapy (Pleasant Hill, MO) offers summer therapeutic riding programs for special needs children. (This facility suffered a devastating fire on February 20th. Please watch their website for updates.)
  • Superkids Summer Asthma Camp (Asthma & Allergy Foundation of Greater Kansas City.) For asthmatic children who have completed grades 2-6. Children will learn about asthma management through crafts, games and outdoor activities, including swimming. Medical professionals are always on hand. An inspiring and empowering week for children (and lots of FUN)!!
  • Wonderland Camp (Lake of the Ozarks) is a residential camp for children with developmental and physical challenges. All of the traditional camp activities are offered. There are also special weeks for children with Prader Willi Syndrome and brain injuries.
  • YMCA (20 locations in the metro) offers camps for 5-11 year olds and run June 1- August 7.  Bonus:  before and after-camp care is available, as is financial assistance.


Find more Summer Fun at


April 22nd, 2011
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