Children's Hospital Colorado offers summer camp programs designed to meet the needs of children who may find a mainstream or "regular" camp program difficult, or who need special care while away from home. Below, you will find a list of our camp offerings.
Are physical therapy summer camps safe for children with special needs?
As a parent, it can be scary to let your child attend summer camp, especially if they have a physical condition or other impairment. That's why we designed our physical therapy camps for children who may need extra care.
To best care for your child, our camps are staffed by doctors, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other care team members. We also account for each child's dietary, medications and physical limitations to keep children safe as possible.
Scholarship assistance may be available, so please don't let camp costs deter your child from participating.
Camp Little Tree
Little Tree is a special camp for children 8 to 12 years old with sensory integration (SI) impairments, as well as learning and/or attention deficits. Children who experience sensory integration dysfunction (SID) have many hidden challenges. That's why our five-day overnight program is designed to meet the unique needs of these children. Our specially trained occupational therapists use occupational therapy (OT) and SI principles to make each Little Tree camper's camp experience positive and motivating.
Focus is placed on developing independence, competence, social skills and self-esteem. Children live, work and play in a "family" group of 6-8 campers, 2-3 outdoor educators from Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and 2 specialized occupational therapists from Children's Colorado. Campers assist in cooking and cabin clean-up along with peers and adults. Children participate daily in climbing, canoeing, ropes courses and outdoor education. Children also receive support for their sensory differences while engaging in community-based activities, such as field games, crafts, journaling and fishing.
CamPossible is for kids with cerebral palsy (CP) ages 8 to 12 years old. The 3-day camp adapts activities to foster success and a sense of achievement in children while they camp with peers in a mountain setting.
The camp staff focus on promoting independence, confidence, social skills and self-esteem. During camp, children live, work and play in a "family" group that include:
- Six to eight campers
- Two to three outdoor educators from Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center
- Two specialized therapists (occupational therapists, physical therapists or speech therapists) from Children's Colorado
Campers will participate in a variety of activities that promote motor skills, coordination, problem solving and self-confidence. These skills include:
- Cooking and cabin cleaning alongside peers and adults
- Climbing, canoeing, ropes courses and outdoor education
- Crafts and group games. Involvement in these programs promotes motor skills, coordination, problem solving and self-confidence
Camp Zenith is a five-day overnight camp for children ages 8 to 18 years old who have sustained traumatic brain injuries at some point in their development. The Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center provides the structure and stability needed for children with traumatic brain injuries, and they facilitate a safe environment where children can try new things, meet new friends and excel at activities that may not be available otherwise.
Campers participate in a variety of activities, including:
- Rock climbing
- Canoeing/kayaking on Lake Dillon
- Climbing the high ropes course
- Crafts (tie dye, homemade "pop rockets")
- Movie nights
- Group games
- A modified campfire
What families and staff say about our physical therapy summer camps
"Camp was such a great experience for Caitlyn. She could not stop talking about all of the activities she had done while at camp! She felt so proud of herself for accomplishing so many new things. Thank you for this camp, we will definitely be back new year."
-Sara Kerlee, mother of 15-year-old camper Caitlyn
"My favorite activity of the week was when I was able to cross the lake in the kayak by myself! I had never even tried it before and I was able to steer the boat without any help!"
-Robert Chamberlian, 15-year-old camper
"Camp Zenith is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I LOVE watching these kids try new things. Watching a child's face when she reaches the top of a climbing wall she never thought she could reach is a brilliant moment—both for the other kids, the staff supporting them, and the child herself. I have seen this camp build self-confidence in motor skills, social skills and the willingness to try new things."
-Amanda Chestnut, MS, OTR, Occupational Therapist
How to sign up for summer camp
Ready to sign your kid up for a great time? Contact RehabOutdoorPrograms@childrenscolorado.org for more information or to receive a camp application.