Camp Scherman

Camp Scherman

Camp Scherman is an extraordinary place where girls of all ages and abilities are welcome. Nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, the 700 acre camp award-winning camp is recognized as one of the finest youth camps in southern California. In the camp’s nurturing, healthy environment, girls can break away from their summer routine and venture into new experiences that help them grow and become more independent and responsible.

Camp Scherman is a fully-integrated camp. Staff “awareness aides” help the camper join in all of her group’s fun activities, but they are not nurses. Campers must be able to take care of their own bathing, restroom and feeding requirements. Awareness Aides can assist with reminders to use the restroom and provide simple help at meal times. Parents are asked to fill out the application form, and to provide as much information as possible about their camper’s special needs so that she can be placed in an appropriate unit. Every attempt will be made to place girls with disabilities in units with girls who are close in age. Girls in high school will be placed with older campers, usually girls in grades 7-9. Camp staff will follow up with the parents once the applications are received.

Website: Camp Scherman

Contact:  Erin

Phone: (949) 461-8800

Camp Location:  San Jacinto Mountains, near Idyllwild, CA.  (map)

Camping Unlimited – Camp Krem

Camping Unlimited - Camp KremCamp Krem enriches the lives of those with special needs, counselors and volunteers through fun and safe programs of recreation, socialization and education.  They thrive through understanding, acceptance and support from the communities they serve.

Campers of all disabilities are welcome at Camp Krem. Campers who typically attend experience symptoms of Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Asperger Sydrome, ADHD and other physical, emotional and developmental disabilities. Camp Krem offers summer camp opportunities for children age 5 and older, plus summer camp sessions for adults.

Their Summer Program provides a 1:3 staff ratio, and offers three options for adventure, Main Camp, Outdoor Adventure Camp and Travel Camp. They offer a range of activities and duration, so you are sure to find a camp that best suits your needs. They offer 6 summer sessions from June through August.  Signing up is easy using their on-line application process.

Website:  Camping Unlimited – Camp Krem

Phone:  (510) 222-6662

Office: 1300 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91106

Camp Location: 102 Brook Ln, Boulder Creek, CA 95006 Santa Cruz Mountains   (map)

Casa Colina Outdoor Adventures Program

Casa ColinaFor more than 25 years, the Casa Colina Outdoor Adventures program has provided therapeutic outdoor experiences to thousands of people with disabilities.

The Outdoor Adventures Program focuses on empowering people with disabilities by creating opportunities through challenging and exciting activities. By focusing on abilities, not disabilities, the program enables its members to experience success both physically and emotionally. These recreation programs utilize the natural world to create unique opportunities where people with disabilities can:

  • Participate in day trips and adventures
  • Enjoy a sense of community with others
  • Gain self confidence by experiencing success through acquiring new skills
  • Share new outdoor experiences and adventurous activities with people of all abilities

Website:  Casa Colina Outdoor Adventures Program

Phone:  (909) 596-7733, ext. 4131 or (866) 724-4127, ext. 4131

Office: 255 East Bonita Avenue, PO Box 6001, Pomona, CA 91769-6001  (map)

Center for Developing Kids (CDK) – Sunkids

Center for Developing KidsSunkids is a therapeutic summer program open to all children 3-10 years-old, who are fully potty-trained and have the ability to work in groups.  Sunkids is run by occupational, physical, and speech therapists as well as trained volunteers.

Planned events and activities include water play, music, pet day, crafts, walking field trips, as well as gross motor and sensory motor play.  These activities are used to facilitate gross and fine motor skills, social interaction, and play in a safe and fun environment.

CDK also offers a separate one-week summer handwriting clinic designed to give children a jump-start on handwriting prior to starting the new school year. The development of skills necessary to provide foundations for good handwriting are addressed through a multi-sensory approach, including upper body strength and stability, postural control, fine motor skills and dexterity, visual perceptual skills, and eye-hand coordination. This clinic is taught by occupational therapists that specialize in handwriting.

CDK services include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Nutrition Therapy.

Website:  Center for Developing Kids – Sunkids

Phone:  (626) 564-2700

Office / Camp Location:  200 E. Del Mar Blvd., Suite 112  Pasadena, CA 91105  (map)

Child Educational Center

Child Educational CenterThe Child Educational Center’s Summer Exploration Series is located in La Canada Flintridge.  They serve  young children of families at nearby JPL, Cal Tech and the surrounding community – including children with special needs.

The summer program includes weekly themes, swimming and plenty of time spent outdoors, as well as creative and stimulating indoor activities and projects.

Their partnerships with Descanso Gardens and Altadena Stables offers  two unique camp experiences with extended care available to create a full day of fun. Horse Camp is now open to younger children.

If summer school is part of your summer agenda, they will also continue after-summer school programming for La Canada-Flintridge Assistance League’s Summer School and Pasadena Educational Foundation’s Summer School.

For their Summer Programs, your child, at a minimum, must be entering grade one this coming fall (if your child will not be entering the first grade, please call our office at 818-354-3418 for our preschool option).

Full-day, 10-week summer camp, grades K-6.

Website:  Child Educational Center


Phone: (818) 354-3418

Address: 140 Foothill Boulevard, La Canada, CA.  91011   (map)

City of Pasadena

PasadenaThe City of Pasadena offers recreational programs serving teens with disabilities, including 10-week Saturday sessions providing developmentally appropriate activities, social skills development and recreation. The program also includes field trips, art programs, dances. Volunteer opportunities are also available.


Website:  City of Pasadena – Human Services and Recreation

Contact: Jackie Scott

Phone:  (626) 744-7257 or  (626) 744-4386

Camp Location:  Jackie Robinson Center  100 N. Garfield Ave. Room 328  Pasadena, CA 91109  (map)

Danny’s Farm

Dannys Farm

Danny’s Farm offers a safe, structured, nurturing environment through the “farm & animal themed” program for children with autism spectrum disorders and other related developmental disabilities.

Providing a rich 1:3 (and often 1:1) staff:student ratio, the program is offered during after-school hours, in the afternoons, on holidays, and during the summer months.  The curriculum is specifically designed to serve children who may exhibit self-abusive behavior, excessively friendly advances toward others, or other behaviors that significantly affect their ability to be successful in traditional programs.

Danny’s Farm offers a unique setting for teaching and learning.  Student participation in the program can often be funded by the California Department of Developmental Services as Danny’s Farm is an approved vendor of Specialty Autism Program Services through the California Regional Center system.  Many families who may not qualify for State funding also pay privately to have their children participate in the program.   Community Partners include The Institute for the Redesign of Learning’s Almansor and Westmoreland Academies, site of the Children’s Programs, and Total Education Solutions, which provides specialized professional staff, including Board Certified Behavior Analysts.



Phone: (213) 607-4432

Office Location: 1317 Huntington Drive, South Pasadena, CA.  91030

Petting Zoo:  Cal Poly Pomona, 4102 S. University Dr., Pomona, CA.  91768 (map)



Destination Science

destination scienceDestination Science teaches kids that science is not just about Bunsen burners and formulas.  Destination Science camp has grown its stellar reputation because their passion for science and fun shows, and summer after summer, kids have awesome experiences.  Campers – including kids with special needs – develop superb skills while at camp, and bring that enthusiasm and knowledge home with them so the learning continues.

Destination Science recruits kid-friendly educators to guide these science leaders of tomorrow through the best summer of their lives. Their educators are top-notch teachers and university students with the highest aptitude for science and the ability to not just relate to kids, but to be kids at heart themselves!

Additionally, each staff member undergoes a series of reference and background checks, interviews, and comprehensive trainings before beginning their Destination Science journey.

Website:  Destination Science – Southern California


Phone: (888) 909-2822

Main Office Location:  953 North Elm Street  Orange, CA 92867

Campus Locations:  Several locations throughout Southern California  (map)


Drama Kings and Queens

LA Speech and Language Center

DKQ Camp at the Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, is a 6 week long summer program where students work on developing communication skills, social pragmatic skills, and acting abilities through creating an amazing musical performance in a professional theatre at the end of camp.

Each day campers are exposed to acting, dancing, singing, set creation and costume design. Camp schedule includes a weekly field trip that corresponds with themes. Field trips previous years include personal meet and greet and tour at CBS studios, UCLA School of Theatre visit, Universal Studios, and Los Angeles Orchestra Festival.

This camp is designed to develop and/or increase language abilities, social interaction skills, general awareness and self confidence. While all students are considered, ideal campers have some established communication system, able to follow instruction and have minimal maladaptive behaviors.

Website:  Drama Kings and Queens website

ContactLA Speech & Language Therapy Center  Ashley, Angela, or Nadhiya

Phone:  (310) 649-6199

Office: Los Angeles Speech & Language Therapy Center, Inc.  5761 Buckingham Parkway  Culver City, CA. 90230  (map)

Easter Seals Camp

Easter Seals CampEaster Seals’ camps offer children and adults with disabilities the same excitement and activities available at other camps.

For over 40 years, campers and volunteers from all walks of life have come together for one magical week of camp. Activities include crafts, hayrides, talent shows, dances, swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, archery, hiking, concerts, storytelling, and a high and low ropes course.

Easter Seals Camp is a week-long resident camp serving children and adults in the San Bernardino Mountains.  It is held at Camp Oakes, an accredited American Camping Association site.

    • The camp is co-ed and campers must have some communication skills
    • The counselor to camper ratio is approximately 1:2.
    • Campers stay in dormitories or 3-sided cabins
    • Restrooms and showers are available
    • A registered nurse is on 24-hour dut
    • Camp elevation is 7,300 feet
    • Easter Seals provides a subsidy, but there is a fee to attend.  Partial camperships are available.

Website:  Easter Seals Camp

Contact:  Amanda Showalter 

Phone:  (951) 264-4855

Office: 401 S. Ivy Street, Escondido, CA. 92025

Camp Location: YMCA Camp Oakes 47400 Monte Vista Dr. Big Bear City CA 92314  (map)