Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Summer camps in the area offer inclusive services

York County and James City County Parks and Recreations are offering summer camps for youths with disabilities. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Unsplash)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — With summer quickly approaching, the Historic Triangle is gearing up for their camp programs to keep local youth busy with outdoor activities, with the inclusive programs for children with disabilities. 

There are a couple programs in the area that are specifically designed to accommodate young people with special needs. 

Whether it’s arts and crafts, swimming, or field trips, here is a roundup of summer camps in the area for youth with disabilities. 

York County’s Special Recreation Camp:

York County is offering a summer program with a variety of activities for youth with disabilities and special needs. 

The camp, located at 5338-G George Washington Memorial Highway, lasts four weeks from June 28 through July 23, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Campers will be able to participate in arts and crafts, games, movies, and other activities throughout the program. 

Recreation Supervisor Lisa Hanks said that with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the staff is trying to follow the same guidelines as the schools, such as wearing masks and keeping the class numbers low.

While the program usually takes between 20-25 campers, Hanks said that they are unsure yet if they will take even up to 20 people this year. 

Though the program will likely not be providing transportation due to social distancing guidelines, Hanks said that they will still try to get in a field trip or two.  

“In the past, they’ve gone on field trips like bowling,” Hanks said. “We’re still hoping to do that. We may do things like bring in the Virginia Living Museum’s Traveling Road Show and have someone come in and do face-painting.” 

Those who are eligible for the camp must be between the ages of six to 21 years old and have disabilities. 

The Special Recreation Camp costs $225 for residents and $400 for non-residents.

Registration is open now until May 27. Visit York County’s website for more information. 

James City County’s “Days of Discovery”

James City County’s Parks and Recreation is offering their “Days of Discovery” summer camp for youths with disabilities between the ages of five and 22 years old.  

The program will be offered for six weeks starting June 28 through August 5.

The camp is at Matoaka Elementary School located on 4001 Brick Bat Road and will run Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Matoaka Elementary School (WYDaily file)
James City County’s “Days of Discovery” summer camp is being held at Matoaka Elementary School. (WYDaily file)

“Days of Discovery” campers will be able to participate in swimming, outdoor play, gym games and community outings.

Tracy Newsom, Inclusion Coordinator for James City County Parks and Recreation, said that campers will take part in the fun activities “while enhancing mobility, socialization and leisure skills.” 

Newsom said that a typical camper in the program has “a mild to moderate disability,” and can independently, or with verbal cues, eat, bathe and use the bathroom, as well as be able to adjust to changes in routine and environment. 

The camp will have a 1-to-3 staff to camper ratio, Newsom said.

“Days of Discovery” will also offer Inclusion Services for participants by fulfilling reasonable accommodations.

The camp costs $75 per week for James City County and Williamsburg residents and $80 per week for non-residents.

For more information, visit James City County’s website.

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