top of page


My son had a difficult day and when my phone rang, I groaned. Usually it’s the school calling me to come pick him up because of hitting, etc. But you guys called so he could talk through his emotions and we could formulate a plan. I was surprised when the person on the phone said “Thanks Mom, that’s all we needed!” Thank you for taking the time to work through it with him.

—Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

Camp Yakety Yak has been a blissful experience for my son Liam. He usually is quite difficult at transition times and these past two weeks, transitions to and from camp have been going so smoothly. I feel so much gratitude to find a camp that understands my son and supports him so he can blossom and have a great summer camp experience without anxiety. It has been a blessing to see him happy and excited to go somewhere outside of our home to be social and grow.

 -- Lloyd Dollar, Parent, 2016

This was our first experience with CYY and we feel that it was super!

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

You are doing something very special and have the chance to completely revolutionize how individuals experiencing disabilities see themselves and therefore how the world must see them. Thank you. The play class was awesome too.

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

I appreciated how much Angela [the Camp Director] responded to my concerns and stopped to listen to me! She was attentive, honest and immediately responded to my concerns! Thank you.

 -- Jana Dluehosh, Parent, 2016

Camp Yakety Yak and it’s entire staff, provided a wonderful, supportive, safe experience and taught our camper new skills in a fun and positive way.

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

I appreciate all the work that goes into CYY. My son loves it here! It’s the only camp experience where he feels confident and excited to come. He learns valuable skills too. Thank you.

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

The experience I had at camp was incredible! I was able to practice and learn important professional skills I will use for the rest of my life.

-- College-Level Camp Counselor, 2016

As a speech and hearing student I have learned an enormous amount in a very short time. The direct hands on experience and support from professionals is invaluable! This isn’t something you can get in a classroom.

-- College Level Camp Couselor, 2016

Every year I am so impressed with how much more you bring to the camp experience. One of my only previous complaints was the organizational issues but you all have exceeded the expectation for growth.

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

I love all the staff, they are warm, welcoming, and caring. They seem to be excited to be here. This environment is essential to Isaiah being seen and enabled him to take risks.

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

My son’s usual response when I ask how his day was is “great and good”. After a few days at CYY his reply changed into a very enthusiastic “super great!” My heart is bursting with a bajillion drazillion hearts of love. He has been very happy with camp and with Samantha, his buddy.”

-- Michele Brown, Parent, 2016

My son is 6 with limited verbal skills and I was anxious about the level of support he would receive. I was so impressed that all staff were so responsive and assessed his level of need on a day to day basis. His 1:1 person was outstanding and this was her first year Camp YY as well. I am thrilled and he will definitely come back next year. I could write another paragraph about all the wonderful activities! 

--Rebecca T., parent survey, 2016

This was my daughter’s first time at Camp Yakety Yak and it was a wonderful experience for her. She was beaming when I picked her up and when I mentioned camp or we turned the corner to drop her off and she saw everyone, she would scream and clap her hands [my daughter does not speak much]. I’ve never seen her so excited and made my heart melt. The staff and volunteers were all so helpful and kind, they made it easy to leave her in their hands.

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

I have volunteered at CYY for two years now, and both times have been incredible. It seems strange that I, as a high school student, would sacrifice two weeks of my summer to wake up at 6:30am and spend all day with a bunch of rambunctious kids, but that's just how special CYY is. Sometimes I think I'll go crazy from hanging out with kids who have sooooo much more energy then I do, but after seeing all their smiling faces, I can't help but fall in love with it. The effect camp has had on them is almost unbelievable, and I am always overjoyed to be part of an environment that allows them to make friends and have fun, just the way summer camps are meant to be.

--Gavin Macpherson 

12th Grade, Central Catholic High School, 2016

Thank you with all my heart!!! I LOVE you guys!! The happiness I see in Brianna and the comfort she has being in her own skin because of the honor and respect you show her is unmatched. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

--Junior Camp Counselor Parent, 2015

Working as a one-to-one assistant with a 9-year-old boy with significant communication and social skill needs was truly one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. I won't lie and say I wasn't a little overwhelmed the first couple of days of camp. Although I've had experience working with a variety of children with different social, emotional and mental challenges, I've never intimately worked with a child with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder as an one-to-one assistant before... Each and every day was a learning experience and I felt like I had grown and learned so much by the end of camp. Working with a child with severe autism was new to me, but has now sparked an interest in working with this population. Camp Yakety Yak reminded me how much joy it truly brings me and it has deepened my desire to work with children as a speech pathologist.

-- Reflection from a Student Clinician from PSU, 2013

​I really appreciated how the professional staff took the time to explain things and answer my questions, ​which would help in my own knowledge and understanding of the strategies that were used. Thank you for designing this camp in such a way that it was not only a learning experience for the campers, but also for the volunteers.

--College Volunteer, 2012

My son had a wonderful time! He still talks about his experiences at Camp Yakety Yak. He takes us through his binder every day telling us everything about what he did and what he learned. Thank you to you, your staff and volunteers for making this such a wonderful experience. We hope to be back next year!

--Parent of Camper with Autism Spectrum Disorder (age 7) 

Jaxson’s 1st year was rocky. Not yet having a school year under his belt the long days/5 day a week were hard. Napping and getting frustrated. But it helped when all day kindergarten came. He adjusted. Now in his 2nd year at camp, having come out of a very successful 1st year of school, he’s been much more involved. He loves all the hands on activities. I can tell everyday after camp he’s happy and excited. I’m so thankful I didn’t give up on camp. This summer has been a 180 in his participation. I value the staffs dedication to his enjoyment and success.

 -- Jaxson’s mom, 2016

Campers taught me so much about myself but most importantly about human  interactions and humanity itself. People from all over come together to support a common goal of helping and teaching these amazing campers and watching the relationships here develop and thrive is an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful to have been a part of.

-- Camp Counselor, 2016

It has been rewarding to hear Henry come home and say “I saw a boy who acted just like me (explosive) and I felt like I could help him calm down.” It’s also been great to hear from his counselors how he got the opportunity to be helpful and reflect some of his challenging behavior and how he could overcome his perception of being out of control.

 -- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

Lucie says it was her favorite camp ever!

-- Parent, via anonymous survey, 2016

Camp Directors,
   Thank you for helping the special needs children. And thank you for providing such a positive and professional learning environment for our daughter, Hannah, who volunteered. I believe her experience helped solidify her choice/goal to become an SLP.

  Thanks again,

David & Wendy Hill, 2015

I can't tell you how blessed we have felt these past three years to be able to have the girls attend a month each summer of CYY programming.  It is not something we could ever replicate at home and the gains they get (I call it the CYY boost!)  set them up wonderfully for the school year and have lasting effects long after.   Thank you for all you and your wonderful staff do.  CYY is priceless!

-- Cynthia Stinson, parent, 2014

I am so happy that I got to help out at Camp Yakety Yak and work with you. I learned so much and I can't express how grateful I am for that experience.

-Undergraduate Student Clinician from PSU, 2013

Dear Angela,

Thank you so much for Camp Yakety Yak. We appreciate you very much. From your patient emailing about our sons a couple months ago to the humility with which you have carried yourself these two weeks, we have been blessed by your labors. You are doing something that nobody else is doing. You're doing it because you saw a need. May you know that your impact is great!

--Susan Garlinger, parent, 2013

Thank you so so so much for allowing me to be a part of this amazing camp. Not only did I learn an immense amount, but I had fun too! This was such a great experience and the people I've met are inspiring! I am upset that I cannot stay more sessions this summer, but I will for sure be back next summer! 

--Undergraduate Student Clinician from U of O, 2012

We received a message from a family of a neurotypical camper who gave a speech to his second grade class due to concerns he had about how students were treating each other. Here are the notes for his speech:


His parents credit Camp Yakety Yak for helping their son understand true friendship and giving him the confidence to speak up when others are being hurtful. Messages like this just make our day! 


​My son was sad to see his camp experience end. This is so big for him because school is so difficult for him. Thank you, thank you for for making it such a positive, fun experience for him. We'll be back next year or before if the program grows. We can't wait to hear about the next events.

--Parent of Camper with Special Needs

Today, my son suprised me by coming up with his own idea for a snack during a playdate. He had brought down his Camp Yakety Yak memory book, and was so proud to show his friend the 'spider snack' that he could make himself. The boys had fun putting them together, and our neighbor went home with an extra copy to share with his family. How great to see the lessons of Camp Yakety Yak still making a difference nine months later!

-- Parent of Neurotypical Camper, age 6, 2012

Camp Yakety Yak is an amazing program that effectively educates and accepts kids of all abilities while placing great emphasis on interprofessional collaboration. The staff works as a cohesive team to teach the kids how to do the same, make friends and work as a team. I think this makes CYY quite special.                 

                                                                                      -Nick Braukmann- Creighton University med student, 2018

My experience at Camp Yakety Yak this summer is one that I will be forever grateful for. The sense of community at camp is unparalleled and I wish every place could be as fun, uplifting, and inclusive as camp is. I will definitely be back next summer!                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                    -Fiona Courogen (11th Grade) 2018

Camp Yakety Yak is a really special place for children with special needs as well as their neurotypical siblings and friends. While important social and school skills are being promoted throughout camp, the friendships, social opportunities, supported engagement and moments for celebration are what truly make camp such a magical space for campers.


                                                                                                 -Kaitlynn Jaeger, PSU SLP Graduate Student, 2018

Camp Yakety Yak is an experience you can’t find anywhere else. It is a place where kids are loved, respected, supported, valued, and truly known by staff. This culture of compassion allows children to step out of their comfort zones, and have fun! As a future SLP, witnessing the collaboration between various disciplines result in camper growth was inspiring. Along with the insights I gained working one-on-one with campers, I was able to make lasting connections with professionals, assist on a research project, and received training that will apply to my future endeavors. Whether you are a high school student, college student, or professional, there is something to gain from joining Camp Yakety Yak!


                                                                                                -Kylee Peterson (Senior) University of Oregon, 2018

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the amazing Camp Yakety Yak experience. You have created something truly incredible. To be able to see the kids at the beginning and the end of camp showed me how much the kids' friendship skills and personalities had grown and changed. I was given the challenge of [camper's name] but ended up learning so much more about myself. I had an amazing, unforgettable time and I hope to come back next year!

-Camp Volunteer 2012

bottom of page