Summer Camps

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wonderful Family, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Does anyone know of good websites to get recommendations to a reputable summer camp program? Something that was mentioned at psychiatrist appointment today along with Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (I'm not really thinking about Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for difficult child, but it was an interesting comment). Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is most likely not right for difficult child for a number of reasons; number one that he is trying and is not violent; but psychiatrist suggested possibly summer camp for the therapeutic value. I was thinking along these lines last week; but suspect they will be too pricey.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The American Camping Association may be able to help you out. It can be located at

    You should also check with your local chapter of NAMI.

    The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation has State Resources listings that include camps. Here's the link:

    by the way, RTCs are not just for violent kids. There are all kids out there; a good listing can be found at We are currently looking into RTCs for our son because he's not making progress academically, socially or therapeutically (psychiatrically his mood is stable). We think he needs an intensive therapeutic environment that we can't replicate at home.
  3. Smallworld - I'd love to know more about your experiences. This is where we are; although we're seeing some issues now, these will likely be addressed at some level.

    What are you looking for in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? Since your son is stable, how are your describing the situation to professionals? We've recently found out about a good therapeutic school in the SD; and it's one of the reasons we are looking at going back now vs. private school.

    I am working on a parent report and will check into camps a little more soon.
  4. Lilith785

    Lilith785 New Member

    I would be interested in knowing this as well.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 3, 2009
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Lilith - Hi and welcome to the board! ;) Just a side note - I removed the link in your post because to my very technologically-challenged brain, it looked like it linked to family photos. I know it was a .gif but instead of showing an image, it showed as a link to another site. We don't post family photos on here for safety reasons and since I wasn't really sure what the other site was, I erred (I hope) on the side of caution.

    I would have private messaged (PM'd) you but you don't have the PM function turned on. :) Thanks - and welcome!
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    WF, my son J was in a private school last year. Halfway through the school year, he completely shut down, was very depressed and wasn't doing any schoolwork. We had him admitted to a day treatment program at a local psychiatric hospital, where his medications were straightened out. However, when he went back to school, he was still socially withdrawn and not doing his work. The private school did not renew his contract for this school year.

    Last summer, we went through the IEP process with our large county SD. J was placed in a self-contained ED program for socially and emotionally fragile high schoolers. For a variety of reasons, one of which is that he doesn't really fit the profile of the rest of the kids there, the program is not working out. He has made no friends, has no connections to the adults in the program and is still not doing his work. He is also not talking at all when he sees his psychiatrist, who in addition to medication management, does weekly psychotherapy with J. However, his mood at home is very good, he's compliant about the few chores we ask of him, and he has a good relationship with both his dad and me.

    We're telling the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff exactly what's going on -- our son is therapy-resistant (but medically stable), socially withdrawn and academically underachieving. While the RTCs we're looking into have psychiatrists on staff for medication management, the main focus is therapeutic -- getting these kids to look inside themselves and to learn coping skills to confront their challenges. The length of stay is typically 6 to 9 months. Most strongly recommend a wilderness program beforehand to break down the resistance so the student is ready to access the therapeutic process. I won't lie to you -- these programs are expensive, but we plan to take out a loan.

    If you're interested in knowing the programs we're considering, I'm happy to PM them to you.
  7. Smallworld - thank you for the description. If you can PM that would be great. If you are willing, I'd also like to understand how your are interviewing some of these facilities and the questions that you are asking.
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    CHADD also just did a piece on great summer camps. Even if your kid does not have ADHD some of them are applicable for other children as well. I am not sure if I have a link under the social groups? You can look or look under
    We have not used any of the camps but we are looking up some under our parks and rec dept. They offer some for special needs kids here and some really cool swimming programs. K loves swimming.
    For us K can not handle long days and she shuts down at times so we can't do the week long or even multiple day camps. It has to be one or 2 days and only a couple of hours.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I am looking at a camp in CA that caters to developmentally disabled youth, however they are also eager to take non-disabled kids, even ones with issues like ADHD, depression, bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), etc. They are very reasonable -- $300 for five nights. It's run by a non-profit that gets grant funding and private donations. Right now I'm trying to find info on their record to make sure it's safe -- but they are accredited by the ACA.

    I stumbled upon them just by googling camps for bipolar. You might try that with the name of the particular state/region you need.