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What is a good summer camp for ADHD kids?

We are looking for a good summer camp program for our ADHD son. I have looked some special ones just for treatment of ADHD. It is usually very expensive. But how about the results? Does it really help? Also for the summer camp for normal kids, any good ones that are also suitable for ADHD kids?
Thanks!

Replies

Back in 2011, I sent my son to SOAR.  They have several locations.  It did provided my son with many opportunities that he would never have done on his own (rock climbing and white river rafting).  If you are interested, I think they may have scholarships.

Posted by knrdodd on Feb 17, 2014 at 9:37pm

Did your son enjoy the camp?  Did they help him with any ADHD issues?

Posted by mom2barry on Feb 17, 2014 at 10:28pm

We live in Ontario Canada and my son went to Camp Kirk for 2 years and has now been invited back as a Leader in Training. Great program! Great counsellors. He loved it!  campkirk.com

Posted by JulieBmotherof3 on Feb 18, 2014 at 7:13am

Our son thrived at camp!  It was a wonderful experience.  I think what makes it work so well is the routine, routine, routine. 

We did not send him to any type of special ADHD camp, just a “traditional” overnight. He loved it and they were very accommodating.

I guess it depends on each child. Just make sure the camper/counselor ratio is good.  Some camps are really big.

Posted by staypositive on Feb 18, 2014 at 7:37am

I would like to second the recommendation of SOAR. Our family attended their family weekend almost two years ago and it was an awesome experience. Their counselors are highly-trained regarding disabilities and their camp is very structured and aims to teach kids habits and structure of their own. My son hasn’t gone for a summer program yet, because he isn’t ready, but I will happily send him to SOAR when the time is right. (The NC location is where we went, it’s only 45 minutes from our home.)

In the meantime, we’ve found that day camps with a science and exploration emphasis are good for our son. He loves a camp that has locations nationwide called, Camp Invention.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 18, 2014 at 6:09pm

Hi everyone,
  I looked on line at the SOAR camp and it looked awesome!!!! Unfortunately I had to come back down to reality. My son loves the beach, sand, fishing, etc. BUT he hates bugs, sleeping in tents, hiking for very long, getting too hot without immediate access to cold water to jump into. Basically - we stopped camping many years ago (which was fine by me because I am like him as well!!). My idea of camping is renting a cabin in the woods with AC and heat when needed.

So…..If anyone knows of any summer camps for 13 year olds who are not really into the outdoors quite as much as the SOAR program offers I would really appreciate the recommendations.  Camp Invention looked great but they only take kids up to 6th grade darn it!!

Thanks so much

Posted by Udderlycrazy on Feb 19, 2014 at 1:45am

Hi udderlycrazy!

I don’t want to push about SOAR, but I wanted to add this: I was certain that our parents weekend was going to be a nightmare. My son (and his sister) had to stay at SOAR, with strangers, in an open air cabin of bunks. First, he couldn’t be away from me overnight at all, not even with grandma. The kids stayed onsite and we stayed at a nearby hotel.

Second, my son has a tremendous amount of anxiety and I knew he would freak out about spiders and definitely feel terrified about white water rafting.

However, he did awesome! Blew me away. He didn’t have any problems during the night and I could barely get him to even say hello to me the next morning, despite being certain I’d get a call during the night due to separation anxiety. He was nervous about rafting, but did it anyway and had fun.

The SOAR staff knows their kids come to them either full of outrageous anxiety, or completely fearless. They are trained to help the kids manage their anxiety. Part of their program’s mission is to help kids push their boundaries and learn that they CAN do things, despite their weaknesses.

I would encourage you to go to their parents weekend in May, if at all possible. Your son will get a good feel for what camp would be like there. I expected my son to beg to go home after the first night, but he cried at the end of the program because it was over instead. Parents weekend is a great way for you both to gauge if it’s appropriate for him. As well, my husband and I learned a TON from the parent workshops that weekend too. It turned out to be a huge win for all 4 of us.

Just my two cents. wink

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:50pm

Sending my daughter to away camp has been one of the best things I have done for her—and we have done many interventions!  Her first year, she went to a traditional away camp, but it was not the best experience.  The next three years she went to camps that specialize in working with children with social skills issues where she had amazing experiences!  Russel Barkley does talk about how there is no carry over learning when the experiences are outside of our ADHD kids’ day to day lives, but my daughter came home each time a little more mature, responsible, and confident.  Additionally, the summer camps absolutely made her summer!  It is a huge financial sacrifice for us, but we make it work.  The firs two years she went to Camp Sequoia in PA.  When they moved campuses, they could only accommodate one gender and only accept boys now so she went to Akeela in VT.  I love that Akeela is outdoorsy, but it sounds as though Sequoia may be a good fit for your son as it is on a school campus, they stay in dorms, and the activities are not as nature based.  Two final things—you should ask if there is any way they could give you a break in the costs.  If you have any questions about Sequoia given the allegations against the former director, I am happy to answer them, but I would still be sending my daughter there (as many parents are) had they been able to accommodate girls.

Posted by Cherrymom on Feb 19, 2014 at 7:48pm

Hi,

Thanks for the recommendation for SOAR….the camp looks great, but for California the age range is 11-18…my daughter is 8. Does anyone know of a summer camp for 8-9 year olds in CA?

Posted by Babsy234 on Feb 19, 2014 at 11:08pm

Ok adhdmomma - you got me!! I’m going to email the staff at SOAR and go over my concerns with them. But your words have definitely made me want to at least look into the parents weekend. We would be doing the one in the Adirondacks so will have to see if they offer that there. Even if they don’t I am not far from there so could even ask to come by for a little tour and talk to the director.

Hi Cherrymom- my inlaws are in PA so will definitely check out Camp Sequoia!!

Thanks everyone!

Posted by Udderlycrazy on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:15am

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