Special Needs Summer Camps

45 Outstanding Special Needs Summer Camps In Michigan For 2023

These Michigan special needs summer camps are denoted for camp programs geared for specific needs or conditions of the camper with unique health or developmental needs. Camps can have overnight and day programs for children and adults. Camp programs are available for people with physical impairments, medical concerns, emotional challenges, intellectual impairment, and developmental disorders.

Note: Camps may change programs, focus, and schedule. Please visit the website for program details, camper requirements, and registration. 

If you know of a special needs camp, not on this list, please contact us! The list was last updated on March 10, 2023.

Map of Michigan Special Needs Camps

DSRC Summer Special Needs Enrichment Programs (SSNEPs) – Bay City, Michigan

Disability Services Resource Center (DSRC) SSNEPs is a series of day programs for children and adults (ages 5-36) from Bay County with special needs. The programs run from 10 AM to 1:45 PM, three days per week for six weeks from mid-June through late July, with Pre-Admission forms available online through May 15.

Four programs are offered annually: Blooming Meadows for ages 5-12, Greener Pastures for young ladies ages 13-25, Open Fields for young men ages 13-25, and Rolling Hills for adults ages 26-36. There are special foci for each age range as well as a theme for each year; 2023’s theme is “Technology in MY World!!!” All programs provide learning, life skills, recreation, socialization, and weekly outings in the community for all participants. Through SSNEPs, each attendee enjoys unique experiences, and the families and caregivers of participants are provided with much-needed respite.

Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit’s Kids Connect – Royal Oak, Michigan

Block Painting at Kid’s Connect

Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit’s Kid’s Connect is a camp for children who have been affected by cancer, whether they have been diagnosed themselves, have a loved one who has been afflicted or have lost someone to cancer. It’s a place for kids to meet other kids with cancer in their family who they can relate to and have a good time!

Camp Midicha – Fenton, Michigan

Camp Midicha offers a healthy and instructive extension to diabetes treatment and a safe and entertaining outdoor experience for children with diabetes. Camp Midicha, which serves 550+ children annually, is one of the largest and only all-volunteer residential special needs summer camp programs for children with diabetes.

Camp Midicha, situated in Camp Copneconic near Fenton, Michigan, has assisted children with diabetes since 1955. Every year, hundreds of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, and other volunteers donate their time and spend at least one week at camp teaching these kids the skills they need to live healthy lives. Camp Midicha began year-round programming in 2017, including a weekend Family camp and a Young Adult camp (serving 18-25-year-olds).

The Fowler Center for Outdoor Learning – Mayville, Michigan

The Fowler Center for Outdoor Learning offers people outdoor experiences and activities to promote personal growth and independence. They provide programming for children, youth, and adults all year. The emphasis is on each camper’s capacity to engage in camping events based on their physical, cognitive, and psychological capacities. There is a concentrated effort to remove any potential barriers and provide a safe, positive, and reinforcing atmosphere.

Located in the state’s Thumb, the Fowler Center is located on more than 200 acres near Mayville, Michigan. Our gorgeous site on magnificent Harmon Lake includes meadows, woodlands, and a lakeshore, providing ample opportunity for exploration and fun.

Camp Skyline – Almont, Michigan

Camp Skyline accepts campers with special needs for a week-long residential camp in three sessions (teens, young adults, and adults). Skyline, located just north of Detroit, is a member of the American Camp Association. The ratio for special needs camps is one to three.

Camp A.B.L.E. – Canton, Michigan

Camp A.B.L.E. is intended for people with impairments. This program provides one-of-a-kind experiences to improve social skills, strengthen gross and fine motor abilities, and encourage independence. The program includes field trips to places like zoos and bowling alleys twice a week. The camp engages in themed activities on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and invites guest lecturers. They also swim at the Park’s Summit.

Camp Chris Williams – Greenville, Michigan

Camp Chris Williams is a week-long residential camp for Deaf and Hard of Hearing adolescents. It includes traditional camp and STEM activities and mentoring from D/HH professionals in various industries and disciplines. It began as Camp Amigo by Lion member Chris Williams, renaming the camp after his name after his death in 1984.

Equest Center Summer Horsemanship Day Camp – Rockford, Michigan

The Equest Center Summer Horsemanship Day Camp is open to all horse enthusiasts of all ability levels, from beginners to expert riders. Our ultimate objective is to educate each participant on what it’s like to have their horse. There are programs available that are mainly created for campers who want more one-on-one support and a shorter daily session geared to their learning styles.

Camp Fish Tales – Pinconning, Michigan

Camp Fish Tales is a year-round non-profit independent camp, conference facility, and retreat center. This barrier-free camp is located on 67 acres between Linwood and Pinconning, just north of the Great Lakes Bay Region, and is open to persons of all ages and abilities. This is a barrier-free outdoor camp for disabled children and adults.

The organization offers weekend or weeklong sessions tailored to different needs and age groups. Along with experiencing the joy and camaraderie of camp, the programs are designed to build confidence and help campers develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills.

Camp Fish Tales in Fall

For many campers, it’s a rare opportunity to be independent and away from home while having fun with their peers. The time away also gives parents and caregivers a respite while knowing their loved ones are making memories well cared for.

Friendship Circle Summer Day Camp – West Bloomfield, Michigan

Friendship Circle Summer Day Camp is an exciting four-week program that will give children with special needs a fun and busy summer. They plan activities and structures to give your child a memorable camp experience. Summer Day Camp will provide the opportunity to experience the fun of summer while developing a friendship with a volunteer and other campers. Day Camp combines learning critical social skills with a fun and engaging camp experience.

SpringHill Camps – Evart, Michigan

SpringHill Camps is a nonprofit inter-denominational Christian camp with over 40 years of experience teaching and serving children. Our programs reach kids through a particular ministry model, the SpringHill Experience. The SpringHill Experience is God-immersed, embracing, innovative, integrating, professional, and community-focused. They are passionate about reaching the lost and being relevant as they share Jesus’ message of grace, hope, and love.

The camp reaches kids through an overnight camp property in Michigan and Indiana. They also provide SpringHill Day Camps hosted at local churches and schools in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio.

St Francis Camp on the Lake – Jerome, Michigan

St. Francis Camp on the Lake assists intellectually and developmentally disabled children and adults Our customized day, residential, and weekend camp programs allow children to participate in enjoyable and challenging activities that encourage social, emotional, and physical growth. St Francis Camp is a Special Needs Camp that serves the residents of Southern Michigan, Northern Ohio, and Indiana.

Bay Cliff Health Camp – Big Bay, Michigan

Bay Cliff Health Camp is a year-round, non-profit treatment and wellness center for disabled children and adults. The flagship program at Bay Cliff is a seven-week summer therapeutic camp session for children with impairments. The children strive for more freedom and a more fulfilling existence.

Bay Cliff also offers a variety of year-round activities, such as an adult program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, adapted paddling classes, and a variety of weekend family camps. Summer treatment camp in Michigan’s picturesque Upper Peninsula for children with physical impairments (including limb loss) offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, and music therapy.

O.U.R. Camp, Inc. – Northville, Michigan

O.U.R. Camp (Opportunity * Understanding * Recreation) is a specialist day camp in Northville, Michigan, for young children ages 3 to 13 with developmental difficulties. Its goal is to provide continuity with school-year activities while stimulating cognitive and social skill development throughout the summer months. The activities are intended to develop self-image, group and one-on-one social skills, and physical mobility.

Clarkston SCAMP – Clarkston, Michigan

Clarkston SCAMP is a five-week summer day program created and tailored for children and young people with special needs, including emotional and physical disorders. The camp provides music and art therapy, field trips to a wide range of locations (movies, Clarkston Family Farm, Air Time Trampoline, 4H Fair, bowling, golfing, etc.), beach/boating days through Oakland County Parks and Recreation, gross motor activities, and socialization with peers and the community.

Bloomfield SCAMP – West Bloomfield, Michigan

Bloomfield SCAMP is a 5-week summer program that aims to provide an entertaining and therapeutic summer program for people with disabilities aged 3 to 26 in the Metro Detroit region. Bloomfield SCAMP, established in 1967, was the first summer camp in our area to offer a summer program for people with disabilities. SCAMP provides a range of organized programs that focus on social skills enhancement, language enrichment, and prevocational abilities. They also appreciate art and music therapy, as well as physical education. This program’s participants will swim at Walnut Lake near West Hills Middle School in West Bloomfield.

Greenville Optimist Camp – Greenville, Michigan

The Greenville Optimist Camp for Persons with Disabilities is a summer camp for adults and children who have received Special Education services, regardless of age or financial capacity. The Camp is a tent camping experience that includes fishing, boating, swimming, arts & crafts, nature adventures, excursions, and evening campfires.

The Camp offers weekly age-group classes and is free to any family in the local service area.

Camp Grace Bentley – Burtchville, Michigan

Camp Grace Bentley is a camp where children may make memories that will last a lifetime. Increase your sense of freedom by trying new things and collaborating with others—a unique environment where children with special needs are encouraged to be themselves. For more than 80 years, Camp Grace Bentley has provided a unique summer experience for children with special needs.

The Arc Shiawassee Summer Day Camp – Owosso, Michigan

The Arc of Mid-Michigan’s Summer Camp The program is intended for adolescents and adults aged 13 and above who have intellectual and developmental challenges. Everyone will have a good time at camp while making new friends, learning new skills, and gaining independence. Give your loved one a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

This experience is based on the fantastic attributes of our members. It allows them to concentrate on their varied strengths rather than their disabilities. They do this by demonstrating to participants their full potential. The Summer Camp will enable children to have an impact on their community and witness the difference they have made by becoming productive citizens. (Arc Mid-Michigan membership is necessary.)

Camp Tall Tree – Howell, Michigan

Camp Tall Tree offers a classic overnight summer camp experience. Our program strives to support autistic children as well as their siblings. Camp Tall Tree believes that they should create an environment that fits our campers rather than molding our kids to suit the world. To that aim, they consider the camper’s perspective and requirements in all they plan and do.

This covers activities such as “challenge by choice,” “challenge by choice,” and ” Visual cues and reminders, Sensory break locations, as well as access to calm rooms during any loud times of the day, Access to visual and textual communication channels with personnel, as well as a structured and regular daily routine. As a result, they expect that children in their sibling’s program will come with a different viewpoint and experience at home than other children their age.

Horizons Developmental Resource Center – Caledonia, Michigan

The Horizons Developmental Resource Center summer program and social experiences are tailored to children with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Behavior Challenges, and Other Developmental and Mental Health Disorders. Our Individual Instruction program may be a good fit if you want your child to work on particular treatment objectives, academic goals, daily living skills, and vocational abilities this summer. Their staff collaborates with parents to develop specific summer goals, and sessions are held on a timetable that works best for the client and family. Some clients come every day, while others come once a week for 1-2 hours.

Camp Discovery – Pinckney, Michigan

Finding a summer camp that addresses the requirements of children with health issues and disabilities can be challenging. The Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan is excited to collaborate with North Star Reach to offer Camp Discovery. A fully accessible summer camp experience for children and teenagers with epilepsy.

Camp Discovery & Solstice Camp, located on 105 magnificent forested acres in Pinckney, Michigan, and flanked by two lakes, is a no-cost, medically-sound camp where children may experience a lifetime. Campers may receive the treatment they require without ever leaving camp, thanks to 24-hour medical supervision from renowned hospitals and medical institutions around Michigan and Chicago.

Camp Casey – Birmingham, Michigan

This summer, Camp Casey is thrilled to announce that they will continue to provide free horseback riding sessions to children in Michigan who have cancer and other life-threatening diseases through the Horsey House Call program. In Michigan, there is a horseback riding program for children with cancer and their families. Overnight getaways and horsey home calls provide families a break during difficult times.

Social Skills Camp by Behavior Consultants Inc. – Brighton, Michigan

Navigating social relationships can be difficult for individuals on the autism spectrum or those experiencing other developmental or behavioral challenges. Using the principles and teaching procedures of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), our Social Skills Camp is designed to provide some direction for situations that may prove difficult, such as handling conflict, teasing/bullying, initiating conversations/play with peers, etc. In addition, the following strategies may be used to target a variety of social situations:

Camp Zip – Ypsilanti, Michigan

Camp Zip is devoted to giving individuals with disabilities opportunities. Our team works all year to guarantee that your stay at Camp Zip meets and exceeds your expectations. Their ambition is to be the greatest! Campers will be given opportunities to try new things and push themselves to be the best they can be. Camp Zip operates on the values of providing meaningful recreation opportunities while incorporating job skill development, socialization, and life skills!

Crystalaire Adventures – Frankfort, Michigan

Crystalaire Adventures is a northern Michigan adventure vacation and education program. They believe in providing inclusive, engaging outdoor programs in natural locations that provide significant experiences. They are part of a bigger coalition of programs that create enjoyable and exciting social networks that allow individuals to define and command their own experiences. Rather than overloading our excursions with adult-created programming, our participants co-lead and create the experience on every trip.

Habonim Dror Camp Tavor – Three Rivers, Michigan

Spend your summer swimming, boating, crafting, camping, and having a good time while learning to be a leader! Camp Tavor is a welcoming and loving atmosphere. You will develop a strong sense of social justice, environmental responsibility, a connection with Israel, and an excellent personal Jewish identity. Visit Habonim Dror Camp Tavor online for additional information. A nut-free environment that can handle allergies and particular diets is essential for special needs camper accommodation.

Camp Living Waters – Luther, Michigan

Camp Living Waters is for ages fourteen and older who can attend a Christian and special needs camp. Horses/Equestrian, Swimming, Waterfront/Aquatics, Team Sports, Adventure, Wilderness/Nature, and other activities are included in the curriculum. Special Needs Camp for Children Ages 14 and Up, Horsemanship Camps for Children Ages 10 to 18.

Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD Family Summer Camp – Glen Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD Family Summer Camp Seeks to improve your connection with your child and help him, or her achieve the greatest future possible by working on organization, time management, advocacy skills, and ADHD management. Dr. Hallowell discusses his 30+ years of expertise with parents as children (ages 8-18) participate in learning adventure activities that incorporate executive function principles. Siblings can also attend the camp.

Circle Pines Center – Delton, Michigan

Circle Pines Summer Camp is a hands-on, collaborative experience. Through shared work and play, campers discover the importance of tolerance and compassion for individuals of diverse backgrounds, religions, colors, incomes, and beliefs. Healthy meals, time in nature, and a strong community foster a spirit of helpfulness, engagement, and social consciousness in campers that lasts long after they leave.

Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy Services – Highland, Michigan

Kids in Motion is a day program for children of all abilities with special needs, from 4 to 14 years old. Occupational, physical, and speech therapists administer the camp. In addition, each child is assigned a counselor. Swimming, arts & crafts, sensory games, obstacle course, playground play, storytime, group play, and music therapy are some activities available to children.

Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake – Roscommon, Michigan

In 1925, Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake was constructed. For the past 90 years, the camp has provided excellent summer camp programs for children and youth. Spend a week on Higgins Lake meeting new people, gaining confidence, and having fun! In addition, for children and teens with food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances, including gluten-free/casein-free diets.

Camp Tannadoonah – Vandalia, Michigan

Camp Tannadoonah provides a classic resident camp program that includes all summer camp attractions, such as swimming, boating, archery, nature, sports, crafts, and, most importantly, FUN! Our camp is owned and run by Camp Fire. River Bend is located just outside of South Bend, Indiana. They have programs for campers ranging in age from 5 to 17, including boys and girls.

There are several activities, specialist programs, and leadership CIT programs available. In addition, they can usually accommodate campers with unique requirements. Please contact the camp before registering so that they may explore your camper’s needs and establish whether they are the best match for your youngster.

Sherman Lake YMCA Camp – Augusta, Michigan

Through HCRR, kids at Sherman Lake YMCA Camps discover the power of living (Hick-er). Each camp program emphasizes the Y’s four fundamental values: honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. As a result, campers leave with a sense of accomplishment, belonging, confidence, and bravery to attempt new things due to their discovery of the great outdoors, skill development, and instruction in the value of creating good relationships.

Sherman Lake YMCA is the home of MDA Camp of SW Michigan and Camp Discovery of the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. They believe in inclusion for our special needs campers and will collaborate with parents to create the best experience possible.

Conductive Learning Center – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and motor impairments are eligible. Summer Camp at The Conductive Learning Center is a chance for children of all ages to participate in a four-week intense conductive education program. Groups of children of comparable ages who confront similar physical obstacles, gain mobility and independence practical daily living skills and do so in a supportive environment with a fun and adventurous atmosphere.

Each age group examines a specially selected topic and curriculum while moving to the next level of independence. Swimming and pool activities are included in the program. In addition, each group performs or demonstrates a group activity based on their theme on the final day of camp. Families are encouraged to attend.

Indian Trails Camp & IKUS Life Enrichment Services – Grand Rapids Michigan

Our mission at Indian Trails Camp & IKUS Life Enrichment Services is to better the lives of people with disabilities through leisure, advocacy, and meaningful connections.

Indian Trails is an exceptional institution that incorporates adaptive activity into each camper’s life. It is easy in principle but difficult in practice. Indian Trails provides a barrier-free camp setting where people with disabilities may engage in activities that the outside world cannot give. It’s a place full of laughter, leisure, and camaraderie. Campers learn persistence, collaboration, and self-sufficiency. They return home full of love, respect, and memories.

MDA Summer Camp – Augusta, Michigan

MDA Summer Camp has provided young MDA community members with the chance to attend a week-long, overnight summer camp with other children who have been just like them since 1955–often referred to as “the finest week of the year.” MDA Summer Camp, provided at no cost to families, allows children to experience the joy of just being a child.

Campers range in age from 8 to 17 and enjoy swimming, athletics, archery, canoeing, and even zip-lining. Children form friends with others who are similar to them and acquire confidence and support from one other as they have fun and be themselves together. MDA Summer Camp and activities are intended to reduce many of the barriers that young MDA community members may experience in their lives.

Pine Ridge Bible Camp – Cedar Springs, Michigan

Pine Ridge Camp is a nonprofit interdenominational Christian camp with over 70 years of expertise serving special needs children, youth, and campers. Throughout the summer, Pine Ridge provides a range of overnight and day camp programs and year-round private group rentals. Activities are designed and prepared to choose acceptable options for each age group. Go-carts, laser tag, airsoft, paintball, rock climbing, swimming, horsemanship, petting farm, water sports, arts & crafts, water slide, basketball, soccer, target sports, playground, and many more activities are available at camp.

Camp FAR Out – Birmingham, Michigan

Camp FAR Out is a two-week creative arts inclusion camp held at FAR. This camp is for special needs campers and their sibling(s) ages 3-16. To cap off all our time together, they will have a public performance on the last day of camp for friends and family to enjoy.

Lion’s Bear Lake Camp – Lapeer, Michigan

Lions Bear Lake Camp originally opened its doors in July 2000, with only 53 campers in our inaugural year. Since then, they have served over 10,000 campers and guests. The camp is financially sponsored by the Lions, Lionesses, and Leos of Michigan, as well as Foundation grants and individual donations from around the state.

The objective of the camp is to develop leadership skills, boost confidence, and give superior outdoor educational and recreational experiences to all people, regardless of ability, all year long. There are programs for the visually handicapped, the deaf, and those suffering from juvenile arthritis.

Salvation Army Echo Grove Camp – Leonard, Michigan

The Salvation Army Echo Grove Camp provides a week of overnight camp for seniors and/or those who are visually impaired. Throughout the week, campers will have the opportunity to experience everything that camp has to offer while getting closer to Christ. The camp is adjusted to meet the needs of the campers.

North Star Reach Camp – Pinckney, Michigan

The North Star Reach Camp’s purpose is to help the thousands of youngsters in the Great Lakes region who are unable to attend camp due to a life-threatening disease. However, there is a significant demand for a therapeutic camp for children with chronic illnesses. An increasing corpus of evidence-based research suggests that children with serious medical issues who attend summer camps have increased well-being.

Confident Kids Camp – Brighton, Michigan

Confident Kids Camp is a 5-day, intensive therapy program designed to help prepare children with Selective Mutism for the upcoming academic year.

Cran Hill Ranch – Friendship Camp – Rodney, Michigan

Friendship Camp is intended exclusively for campers who are developmentally disabled. The week is a four-night, five-day event for kids aged 15 and up that delivers a safe, exciting, and engaging Christian summer camp experience that values each camper’s strengths. This unique program aims to provide each child the opportunity to enjoy summer camp on their own terms and at their own speed.

Camp Sunshine – Newaygo, Michigan

Since 1983, Camp Sunshine has provided summer camp experiences for people with cognitive/developmental impairments in a secure, loving, and inclusive setting. They provide multi-day overnight camp sessions with activities designed to address the recreational, emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational requirements of participants.

Each child is partnered one-on-one with a volunteer counselor for the duration of their four days at camp. Camp Sunshine fosters environments where kids feel included, learn from others, and develop friendships. Volunteers in our programs receive as much as they give and learn as much as they teach. Most importantly, to have a good time!

4 Of The Best Michigan Academic Summer Camps In 2022

Michigan Glamping – 2 Fresh Approaches Come To The Upper Thumb

6 Top Camping Sites Minutes Near Caseville Mi

3 Accessibility Testing Tools Small Websites Should Be Using

Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

View all posts by Michael Hardy →

What do you think?Cancel reply

Exit mobile version