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Winter 99 Table of Contents
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Its February...Time to Plan for Camp

By Ron Lucey, TCB Consumer Resources Coordinator

With recent memories of the holidays still looming, it may be difficult to get motivated to plan for your child's summer camp experience. However, before the last leaves have fallen from Texas pecan trees, most summer camps have already finalized the 1999 summer camp schedule and are preparing to mail their camp applications in early spring. It is important to be aware of the deadlines for most popular summer camps in order to avoid a last minute scramble for camp placements. Some camps may not advertise their application deadline but their summer camp sessions quickly fill up on a first come first served basis.

Residential summer camp programs offer your child a good opportunity to practice and learn new skills, develop a greater sense of confidence and independence, meet peers with similar interests, make new friends and, most importantly, have fun. Shorter camp sessions or day-camp programs may be recommended for younger campers who may not be emotionally prepared to spend more than a week away from home.

The information and resources provided in this summer camp article are intended to help you more easily make decisions in selecting and applying for the best summer camp placement to meet your child's needs. The inclusion or exclusion of a camp in this article should not be considered an endorsement by TCB of any particular camp. When selecting a camp, parents should visit the facility, meet the camp director or counselors, and talk to parents whose children have attended the camp in past years. Each camp has its own special attributes and no single camp is the "best" for every child. Trying to match the needs of your child with a camp that will meet those needs should be a leading consideration. Careful research will ultimately result in an informed decision to find the camp that is the "best" for your child.

Internet Resources

Many more camps than are listed here can be searched for on the Internet through camp web pages and search engines. These web pages include nationwide directories of summer camps that serve children with disabilities, inclusion camps, and camps that meet your child's specific interests. Most of the web pages allow camp searches by several categories including a specific state or geographic area, type of disability, religious affiliation, or recreational interests. These Internet tools are a good resource for narrowing your camp selection, although visiting the camp facility and meeting with camp staff is highly encouraged.

American Camping Association < http://www.aca-camps.org/search.html/ > This web page lists accredited camps throughout the United States that are required to meet 350 criteria for health, safety, and educational and recreational standards.

Kids Camps < http://www.kidscamps.com > "The Internet's most comprehensive directory of camps and summer experiences" has a search engine with category listings of camps that serve children with disabilities.

CampPage Guide to Summer Camps < http://www.camppage.com > CampPage is a resource for information relating to residential summer camps in the United States and Canada. Their focus is on traditional summer camps with general programs rather than specialty camps or sports camps. This web page lists a brief description of each camp with contact information for obtaining more detailed information.

Camp Channel < http://campchannel.com > "Guiding you to the summer camp that's right for you, this automated search engine also provides a directory of camps, a home shopping center for all your camp needs, and much more."

Resources for Local Summer Day Camp and Recreation Activities

In addition to the well-known and more established residential camps throughout Texas, there are many single-session summer camps sponsored by local agencies and community organizations. Other local camp opportunities include day-camp programs and recreational activities sponsored by a city's Parks and Recreation Department. Some of these programs plan for the special needs of children with disabilities while other programs seek to include children with disabilities into mainstream day-camps and recreational activities. These summer camp and recreational programs are too numerous to list in this article. Information on regional camps, local day-camps and recreational activities may be obtained through several sources. These include your local school district, your child's vision teacher, regional Education Service Center, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) children's caseworker and transition counselor, and your city's Parks and Recreation Department. Statewide information on deafblind camp opportunities may be obtained by calling Randy Feille with the TCB Deaf-Blind Department. Information for contacting your nearest TCB children's caseworker or transition counselor or TCB's Deaf-Blind Department may be obtained by calling (800) 252-5204.

Listed below are a variety of camp programs throughout Texas. This is not a comprehensive listing, but is provided as a starting point for selecting your child's summer camp placement.

Camp Programs in Texas
Camps Session Dates & Fees Descriptions
Camp Blue Bonnet
1016 La Posada, Ste. 130
Austin, TX 78752
(512) 472-9838
Contact: Amy Vent
Ages served: 4 - 17
July 5 - 9, 1999 This one-week day camp is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association for children and their siblings at Reunion Ranch in Georgetown, Texas. Transportation is not provided. Camp activities are provided, along with diabetes medical education.
Camp C.A.M.P.
P.O. Box 27086
San Antonio, TX 78227
Ph: (210) 6712598 or (210) 6714098
Fax: (210) 6713290
Contact: Sam Van Neste or Pat Bendle
Ages served: 5 - 21
1: June 13 - 18 Multi-disabled
2: June 20 - 25 Cognitive Special Needs
(MR - Seizure)
3: July 4 - 9 Autism
4: July 11 - 16 Medical Physical
5: July 18 - 23 MR - Seizures
6: July 25 - 30 Medical Physical
No disability restrictions on any particular session
Registration deadline: May 1, 1999
Fees: sliding fee based on income
Children's Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) provides a wide range of recreational, rehabilitative, educational, and respite services for children with developmental disabilities and their families. CAMP's programs provide the medical support to ensure that every child, regardless of the degree of medical needs, will be able to participate in all programs. This is also done indirectly by training potential care-providers.
Camp I Can
620 North Allegheney
Odessa, TX 79761
Contact: Chris Hoffnagle
(800) 583-2404
(Camps in Amarillo & Odessa)
Ages served: 6 - 13
Amarillo: June 28 - July 1
Odessa: July 19 - 22
Application deadline: June 15
first come first served
Fees: No fees
Camp I Can is a day camp that serves any child with a physical disability, including children with secondary sensory impairments. Activities include: swimming, bowling and crafts.
Camp Lone Star
2016 Camp Lone Star Rd.
La Grange, TX 78945
(409) 2474128, (800) 3622078
E-mail: Lonestar@cvtv.net
Contact: Garland Midgett, Director
< http://www.christiannet.com/lomt >
Ages served: 8 - 18
9 one-week sessions, June 1 - July 30 Application deadline: first come
first served
Fees: $289 - $309; discounts before 4/1; some camperships
This Christian oriented inclusion camp offers swimming, hiking, archery, canoeing, challenge course, singing, and camp fires.
Camp Sign
Texas Commission for the Deaf
and Hard of Hearing
P.O. Box 12904
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 451-8494 (V/TTY)
Contact: Billy Collins
Ages served: 7 - 17
  Camp Sign serves deaf or hard of hearing youth at an outdoor training camp. Various physical activities are offered; leadership skills and 911 awareness is taught. Camp Sign is held at Camp Misty Meadow in Conroe, 35 miles north of Houston. Rugged terrain is not designed for wheelchair users.
Camp Summit
2915 LBJ Fwy., Ste. 185
Dallas, TX 75234
(972) 484-8900 or (972) 620-1945
Contact: Lisa Braziel
< http: www.flash.net/~cmpsumit >  
E-mail: cmpsumit@flash.net
Ages served: 6 - Adult
10 one-week sessions, May - August
Registration deadline: first come first served, beginning in February
Fees: sliding fee for Dallas County residents; Camperships available for summer only
Camp Summit's mission is to provide a residential camping experience for children, youth & adults with disabilities. The session for young, physically challenged blind youth is recommended. The camp is located in Argyle, Texas.
Camp Teen Challenge
Education Service Center Region 12
P.O. Box 23409
Waco, TX 76702-3409
(254) 666-0707
Contact: Tina Herzberg
Ages served: 6th - 12th grade
June 1 - June 4
Application deadline: open
Fees: no fee
Camp Teen Challenge, sponsored by TCB and Region 12 ESC, serves youth who are blind or visually impaired. Independence, confidence building, teaming skills, and daily living skills instruction are emphasized. Peer interaction is encouraged through social and recreational activities.
Camp Villa
TX Commission for the Blind Amarillo
7132 I-40 West
Amarillo, TX 79106
(806) 353-9568 or (800) 687-7010
Contact: Annie Wade or Leslie Wilson
Ages served: 11 - 15
One week in June
Application deadline: first come first served
Fees: no fees
Camp Villa is located at Ceta Glen in Palo Duro Canyon. The camp emphasizes confidence building, recreation, peer interaction and independence. A cowboy-style chuck wagon dinner is included.
Camp Vision
2817 John Ben Sheppard Pkwy.
Building A, Ste. 103
Odessa, TX 79762-8111
(915) 368-0881
Contact: Doylene Land or Tammee Argo
Ages served: 3rd - 12th grade
May 14 - 16
Fees: no fees
Participation is restricted to VI students in the Region 18 ESC service area. A referral must be made by the student's VI teacher. This school program focuses on confidence building, independent living skills and integration with sighted peers. Students will participate in a learning exchange with sighted peers from local Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations.
Career Exploration Camp
Education Service Center Region 6
3332 Montgomery Rd.
Huntsville, TX 77340
(409) 295-9161
Contact: Dr. Ouida Fae Morris
Ages served: 13 - 22 (grades 7 and up)
July 11 - 17
(includes a parent weekend, July 10 - 11)
Registration deadline: March, 1999
Fees: no fee
This camp offers career exploring opportunities to students with visual impairments.
Deer Creek Camp - Christian Record Service 333 Comal St.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 238-4621
Contact: Kevin Hargett
Ages served: 9 - 65
August 1 - 8
Application deadline: 30 days before camp session, first come first served
Fees: $35 processing fee
Located in Hunt, Texas and sponsored by the Christian Record Service this Christian-centered camp accepts only legally blind campers able to function with a good degree of independence. One-on-one support is very limited.
Project SWEEP
TX Commission for the Blind Lubbock
5121 69th St., Ste. A-5
Lubbock, TX 79424
(800) 687-7032
Contact: Stephanie Campbell
Ages served: 15 - 22
June 14 - July 30
Application Deadline: January
Fees: no fees

This summer work program for TCB consumers is held at Texas Tech. University. Participants work in the community at least 20 hrs. a week M-F and live on campus, returning home on the weekends. Vocational skills development, career exploration, and independent living skills are emphasized. Job coaches, attendants, O & M instructors, 24-hour supervision and an on-call nurse are available.
SWEAT - Summer Work in Austin Texas
Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th St.
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 206-9406
Contact: Windell Cotton
June 6 - July 23 This 7-week collaborative program between TSBVI and TCB, with support from Region 13 ESC, offers pre-employment and paid work experience, O & M, and daily living skills training. Students work in community jobs such as clerical, day care and store clerk.
Texas Elks Camp
Rout 5, Box 185
Gonzales, TX 78629
(830) 672-7561
Ages served: 6 - 16
6 six-day sessions, beginning:
June 13, 20 & 27 and July 11, 18 and 24
Deadline: first come first served
Fees: no fee
Texas Elks camp provides camp opportunities to any child with a disability not requiring one-on-one care, who is a resident of Texas. Attendance is limited to 50 participants.
Texas Lions Camp
P.O. Box 247
Kerrville, TX 78029-0247
(830) 896-8500
(830) 896-8500 VOICE/TDD
< http://www.lionscamp.com >
Contact: MaeNell Rhymes, Registrar
Ages served: 7 - 16
6 six-day sessions, beginning:
June 6, 13, 20 & 27 and July 4 and 11
Day session: July 5 - 9
Application deadline: first come first served (at least 30 days before session)
Fees: no fees
Texas Lions Camp provides a camp for physically disabled, hearing/vision impaired, and diabetic children from the State of Texas, regardless of race, religion, or national origin. Campers learn the "Can Do" philosophy and are allowed to achieve maximum personal growth and self-esteem.
The Pines
Big Sandy, TX
Business Office
3519 Cedar Springs, Ste. A
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 522-6533
< http://www.thepines.org/ >
Ages served: 7 - 16
3 six-day sessions for 7 - 12 year olds beginning May 30, June 6 and 13;
6 six-day sessions for 7 - 16 year olds beginning June 20 and 27, July 4, 18 and 25, and August 1;
1 six-day session for 13 - 16 year olds beginning July 11
Application deadline:
30 days before session
Fees: $395 per week
Camperships available
The Pines camp is a Christian oriented inclusion camp, open year round with one-week sessions during the summer. Campers include both boys and girls, families, seniors, single adults, and campers with disabilities. The Pines is dedicated to providing high quality programs with a strong faith dimension that will enhance the spiritual, moral, physical and intellectual growth of each individual.
(Work In Tyler This Summer)
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) Tyler
1121 East Southeast Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 581-9945
(800) 687-7042
Contact: Judy Moore
Session: June 6 - July 23 WITTS is a summer work program available to blind and visually impaired students, mostly from rural east Texas. The 7-week project emphasizes pre-employment and job readiness training, and independent living skills. Guidance counseling and six weeks of paid employment is provided. Past jobs have included hospital courier, child care, maintenance, and park ranger aid. Students live on campus at Tyler Junior College. Two ESCs contribute support.

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