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A Free Inclusive Summer Camp for Children with and without Disabilities

"...serves an equal number of children with and without disabilities so that all children can play, learn and interact..."

Photo of Heather
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What problem does your idea solve?

Camp Shriver is a summer camp that already exists in two communities in the Boston area that can be expanded to other communities, as well. Camp Shriver is creating inclusive communities by promoting motor and social development for children with and without disabilities.

Explain your idea

The model and evaluation from the organization's website is as follows. Camp Shriver, a no-cost fully inclusive camp, takes place over four weeks in July on the UMass Boston campus, giving campers access to the University athletic facilities, including soccer and softball fields, a gym, an Olympic-sized pool and several air-conditioned multi-purpose rooms. All programming is subsidized and the $25 registration fee is waived on request of a family member or teacher. Camp Shriver is based on 40 years of CSDE research and evaluation. To accomplish the mission of Camp Shriver, the CSDE model of inclusion has a few unique features: 50% of participants have a disability. Trained staff—in a low 4:1 camper-to-staff ratio—are “need-blind.” In other words, only the Camp Director and Inclusion Specialist know each child’s disability status. Staff are trained in inclusive recreation methods and adapt activities and behavior management strategies that focus on each child’s skills and abilities—not on a particular label. All activities are inclusive and social skill development is promoted by modelling and encouraging appropriate pro-social behavior among campers. One important reason why Camp Shriver focuses on development of social skills is because they are the building blocks to making and keeping friends. Camp Shriver is creating inclusive communities by promoting motor and social development for children w/and w/o disabilites.

Who benefits?

Both children with and without disabilities.

How is your idea unique?

This camp is unique in that it offers the programs for both an equal amount of children with disabilities and without. This is a concept that is currently in use and successful. It could be expanded to other communities.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Julin

I love the idea. It is good to help kids feel involved in kids' day-to-day activities regardless of having any disability.
Whose kids are targeted by the program, though? Children of UMass Boston's students, children of UMass Boston employees, or is it open to the public?

Photo of Heather

It is open to the public, which makes it even better!

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