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Our Service Limitations, Behavioral Policies

Explorers Programs

(formerly called "Junior Camp Counselors")

For adolescents with special needs, we have two programs, scroll down for more information.

Explorers Program - Blue, ages 11-15 


The Explorers Blue Program caters to children with more significant communication, intellectual, or physical challenges requiring extra adult support or a dedicated one-to-one assistant. The program is directed by a masters level special education teacher with experience working with children with complex disabilities. Campers will have schedules built to meet their needs with time spent with their peers in the Explorers Red Program.


The program also has a speech-language pathologist who, with the support of graduate level speech-language pathology students, provides a communication-rich learning environment. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and oral speech are modeled and encouraged. A camp nurse, occupational therapist, and physical therapist will consult and provide wrap-around support. 

Campers will receive intensive support on increasing their social interactions, communication, and age-appropriate student skills which will continue to support their social and emotional growth and prepare them for a transition back to school at the end of the summer.



Explorers Program - Red, ages 12-15


The Explorers Red Program is a "pre-service learning" or "pre-volunteer" experience for teens with learning or social challenges who are still developing independence and leadership skills. The program is instructed by special education teachers and an on-site speech-language pathologist consultant and the support of graduate level mentors. 

The Explorers Red Program will follow a specific curriculum where our teens can learn new strategies and practice self-advocacy, emotional regulation, increased independence, problem-solving, growth mindset, social filter, and leadership skills. In addition, teens in this program will engage in a daily games class and a cooking class twice per week.


Important Registration Information




We require IEPs, and other documents, so we can provide the best program to meet your child's needs. You can get an electronic copy from your child's school case manager (It DOES NOT have to be a signed copy!). Let the case manager know your request is time sensitive. Completed applications, which include an IFSP, IEP, or 504 plan(if your child has one), will be reviewed in the order received.


Once your application has been reviewed by the Explorers Coordinator you will receive an email letting you know the status of your application.

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I'm SuperYak and I am the camp mascot. I solve problems with my thinking brain and calm body. I am excited for the Explorers to try new things this summer!

"I believe the camp allowed her to stretch her leadership skills and build confidence. Her communication skills and desire to learn has increased. [The camp] really let her just be who she is."
-Parent of Junior Camp Counselor, 2018
Explorers Tuition

Explorers Red Tuition $635 weekly
Explorers Blue Tuition $680 weekly

The Registration fee of $100 per week applies to the participant's total tuition, but is non-refundable.

Learn More About the Explorers Programs

Explorers Red Team help the camp community, receive direct social instruction, and attend many fun classes like Cooking and Games. This program is the best of both worlds - developing strengths and independence of adolescents with adult support and teen mentors while building group camaraderie. 

The Explorers program will follow the themes of the general camp while creating engaging activities where our campers can learn strategies and practice self-advocacy, emotional regulation, increased independence, problem solving, growth mindset, social filter, and leadership. Explorers will provide extra supports to the general camp by demonstrating mentorship to younger campers by creating their own recess stations.

Pre-teen mentors participate alongside of the Explorers Campers to create a reverse inclusion setting rich with

modeling and fun connection! Often our Teen Mentors are older siblings of campers with special needs and their volunteer experience continues for many years to come. 

Common Characteristics of Individuals
in the Explorers Red Program
  • Age 12-15

  • On an IEP (if in public school) or disability is  suspected

  • Special Education provided to them in school or it is suspected they would benefit from direct instruction in social skills

  • May have boundary/ personal space issues (personal safety concerns)

  • May struggle with group participation/sharing/collaborating/learning in a classroom or extracurricular environments without support

  • May have sensory sensitivities to noise, taste, smells, textures, etc.

  • May have average or high academics, but delays in social, emotional, or behavioral skills compared to peers

  • Tends to “overreact” to situations that are relatively small

  • Some difficulty making or keeping friendships

  • May have trouble following directions or handling authority

  • Difficulty meeting expectations at home, school, socially

  • Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings as well as peers

  • Some compliance with adult direction/participation challenges at school/home

  • Needs adult assistance or supervision for many activities, including playdates, not at independence level of peers

  • Individualized camper goal targeted on daily basis

  • Professional Faculty of masters-level therapists and educators design and supervise camp curriculum focused on improving social interaction skills in fun, weekly-themed activities including: cooking, science, art, and games.

  • Multisensory instruction, hands-on learning activities that are designed to engage campers, with support provided for campers individual needs.

  • Visual supports in form of visual schedule and reminders of what is expected designed and supervised by speech-language pathologist.

  • Positive adult/teen attention for strengths and abilities

  • Individual behavioral incentive plans, for children with mild-to-moderate compliance, attention, participation challenges (about 15% of campers with special needs)

  • 25 to 125 Hours of therapy-Inspired Instruction (depending on session length).

  • Consultation & support from an occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, special education teacher, physical therapist, and counselor, if additional support is needed.

  • Written Camper Progress Note at the end of camp describing the social-emotional skills & strategies camper was taught at camp.

  • Parent Training on the use of camp curriculum at home can be arranged by appointment.

  • Daily Feedback from camp staff about child's day.

  • Camp Yakety Yak t-shirt.

  • Camp photos and links to view camp photos, end-of-camp slideshow.

  • All Camp curriculum, visual Supports and items created for and by the camper.

  • All specialty materials and supplies to complete camp projects, Including Ingredients for our cooking class.

  • "Care & Connection" Parent Support Meetings each Monday after drop off.

  • Child Care Connections list specially trained respite and child care providers.

  • Resource list of local services, referrals for assistance during school year (upon request).

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Not sure which Explorers program is right for your child?

Contact us by email to set up a time for a phone call to discuss your campers needs.

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