special needs camp paivika

Camp: Summer Programs

Learn more about Camp Paivika. Watch our video.

Camp Paivika’s Summer Program, consisting of multiple-weeklong sessions from June through August, hums with morning-to-evening fun. Campers are grouped with peers and assigned to specific schedules. Each day brings new opportunities to play, share interests, make new friends and meet challenges.

Swimming
Floating quietly and watching the water sparkle in the sun, doing a sidestroke, splashing through a race, or just soaking up therapeutic warmth, campers love our non-instructional swimming program. Framed by two shallow ends equipped with a wheelchair ramp, Camp Paivika’s heated pool is fenced-in and supervised by Red Cross Certified lifeguards. No one is left out: non-ambulatory campers and others with limitations receive one-to-one in-pool support by our caring staff.

Horseback Riding
Riding horseback through the woods is a first-time thrill for many newcomers to Camp Paivika. Our safe, inclusive riding program accommodates non-ambulatory campers and those with physical and developmental limitations who require extra support. Experienced and gentle horses are led and walked by a horse specialist. Riders, protected by helmets and a safety belt, are braced on either side by walkers. Those who prefer not to ride can have an exciting, up-close equine encounter in a modified corral area where they can safely pet, feed and groom the horses.

Adaptive Sports and Recreation
Warm sun, blue sky and fresh, pine-scented air help motivate campers to exercise as they participate in Camp Paivika’s recreational activities that are adapted for accessibility by different age groups and levels of ability. Archery, baseball, bowling, obstacle courses, broom hockey, and Frisbee Golf are favorite sports that improve physical coordination and strength. Bingo, board games and card games enhance concentration and promote socialization.

Creative Arts and Crafts
Campers explore their artistic side through tie-dye and beading projects, ceramics, painting, drawing and other traditional camp crafts offered in a creative arts program that encourages self-expression, hand-eye coordination and a sense of accomplishment.

Performing Arts
Even shy campers come out of their shells when they discover the fun of creative movement, acting games and music-making in our Performing Arts Program. Each session, the grand finale of this popular program is a musical staged in the outdoor amphitheater with the entire camp in attendance. Program participants make the props and stage décor and perform in the crowd-pleasing shows. Past productions have included “Hair Spray,” “High School Musical” and “Grease”—a particular favorite.

Nature Studies
Inspired by the beauty of our surroundings, the games and crafts offered in our Nature Center incorporate elements of the mountain and forest environment, exploring such themes as wildlife, trees and conservation. Campers gain further appreciation for nature through guided hikes on safe trails accessible for wheelchair users.

Life Skills
Cooking, social skills, job searching and a variety of other instructional activities that help promote independence in daily life are presented each session, appropriate to the age range of participating groups.

Other Activities
All camp activities before lunch and dinner give campers time to take a dance lesson or rehearse for a show. Our Evening Program brings the full camp together for campfires, Game Show Night, carnival fun, dances, karaoke, scavenger hunts for children and a casino night for adults.

Trips to nearby lakes and an overnight forest camp-out under the stars round out our inspiring and fun-filled Camp Paivika experience.