Every year, many children count down the days until camp. But this summer staple isn’t always as accessible to kids with special needs. That’s why places like Camp Leisure Club exist. And it’s such a great opportunity for youth with special needs that the Canton day camp just earned high praise from the state of Michigan.
It all began in 2005, when kids from Camp A.B.L.E., Canton’s younger-division special needs camp, had “aged out” but wanted to keep camping. Camp Leisure Club is open to ages 15-plus, doesn’t have an age cutoff and welcomes anyone, no matter their disabilities. “Ultimately our goal is to make recreation available for all,” says camp recreation coordinator Jennifer Provenzano. “We wanted our program to mimic normal camp. It’s very much like a traditional summer camp.”
Three days a week, attendees try numerous activities at Summit on the Park recreational center, from arts and crafts to gardening and swimming. Twice a week, campers go on field trips to movies, water parks and picnics. Best of all, kids get out of the house and experience a memorable summer with friends. That’s why the Michigan Recreation & Park Association recently awarded Camp Leisure Club for excellence in therapeutic rec programs, demonstrating its importance and impact in the community. It was one of 22 total camps statewide awarded.
Not only is Camp Leisure Club loaded with awesome activities, it’s also equipped with a dedicated and experienced staff, including paraprofessionals – and ensuring a ratio of 1-to-5 (the program holds 30 max). That’s key to ensuring campers all get the attention they need and have a positive experience. “We have created a social circle for them. They have great people to interact with every day,” Provenzano says. “This is an enriching experience – equally rewarding for our staff as it is for our campers.”
Camp A.B.L.E. (Achieve, Believe, Learn, Experience)
- Mondays-Fridays, June 20-Aug. 12
- Cherry Hill School, 50440 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
Camp Leisure Club
Ages 15-plus (no limit)
- 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, June 20-Aug. 11
- Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton
Register for Easter
- $50/day, scholarships available; Register by day; field trips fill quickly but spots typically remain until late May
- 734-394-5367, cantonfun.org