News & Feature Updates
Directors: Reminder To Update Your Camp’s Listing
It is time to plan for the summer of 2023 and update your listing. Camp directors are encouraged to update your camp’s listing(s) on VerySpecialCamps.com in regard to any time-sensitive information such as:
- Session dates
- Rates / cost
- Changes in camp programming
- New facilities
- Covid-19 policies
- Virtual (online) programming options
- More recent photos or video (if applicable)
Click here in order to modify your listing. You are welcome to update your information and media elements as often as necessary.
Earlier this year, we had also released a new feature update to allow camps to include six photos (previously two) within a Multi-Media Listing; allowing potential campers / families to better visualize and become aware of all of the fun and unique experiences offered at your camp! If you already have a Multi-Media Listing, simply visit the link above to add more photos.
If you currently have a free listing, you may upgrade to a Multi-Media Listing ($99/yr. – 12 consecutive months); providing a higher ranking and the ability to to display a logo, 6 photos, map, and an embedded video.
If you are a prospective camper or parent seeking a summer camp for the summer of 2023, please keep in mind that many camps have yet to provide their updated information for next summer. It is always recommended that you contact a summer camp directly for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Camp Directors: Covid-19 Related Info
Update your camp’s listing accordingly. We are also accepting publication submissions regarding experiences of camps that operated during the summer of 2020.
Update Your Listing
Two new covid related fields have been added. The first provides your camp with the ability to indicate whether you offer a virtual program. A second new field allows you to include your camp’s Covid-19 policy and/or information about possible contingencies your camp might be facing pertaining to Covid-19. To update your listing, visit the following:
Call For Chronicles of Summer 2020
If your camp operated in any capacity during the summer of 2020, please contact us to discuss the possibility of publicly sharing your experiences and insights in the form of a dedicated blog post on VerySpecialCamps.com.
Our objective is to disseminate general approaches, protocols, and outcomes pertaining to Covid-19; for the benefit of camp families, camp professionals, and the public at large.
Along with the publication of your account, we would be happy to provide credit and a link to your camp’s website.
Support Special Olympics
VerySpecialCamps.com encourages you to help ensure the existing baseline level of federal government funding remains in tact for Special Olympics; a program that benefits the lives of countless individuals in ways that are immeasurable. Let your voice be heard now:
An excerpt from a news release from SpecialOlympics.org:
Special Olympics is a nonpartisan organization that strongly supports policies, legislation and practices that guarantee the rights, full participation, and integration of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics recognizes the progress that has been made around the country in eliminating the stigma, stereotypes, isolation, and discrimination that people with intellectual disabilities face—most importantly around access to sport, health, and education opportunities and services.
We ask federal, state and local governments to join Special Olympics in remaining vigilant against any erosion of provisions that have made a substantial difference in the lives of people with ID. U.S. Government funding for our education programming is critical to protecting and increasing access to services for people with intellectual disabilities.
Read full article:
Learn more about Special Olympics:
Recent Website Improvements
We’ve recently implemented several advancements designed to improve navigation on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.
In particular, visitors are now presented with a fixed horizontal secondary navigational menu at the top of all camp listing profiles; as well as on pages that display listing results (mobile/tablet only).
Ultimately, the goal is provide all pertinent information to visitors as efficiently as possible; and whenever possible, minimize the need to scroll.
Please note: if you are experiencing issues viewing the website, please clear your web browser’s cache (delete temporary internet files) and reload VerySpecialCamps.com
We always welcome your input and encourage you to contact us with your thoughts and ideas.
New Website Interface Released
We are pleased to announce the implementation of a new website interface to improve navigation and functionality on both mobile and desktop platforms.
The new navigational format includes a fixed horizontal menu bar at the top of all pages; allowing visitors to quickly navigate the VerySpecialCamps.com website from any page location.
All individual camp listing pages will be rendered as a fixed width on all desktop screen resolutions; providing greater readability and consistency.
Site-Wide SSL Security Implemented
We are pleased to announce the recent implementation of SSL security to the entirety of the veryspecialcamps.com domain, as well as our other camp related directories located at the following URL’s:
https://www.campchannel.com (All types of camps / camp jobs)
https://www.CampRentalChannel.com (Camp Rentals)
While VerySpecialCamps.com does not gather or retain sensitive information from visitors seeking a camp (such as credit card or social security data), we believe an encrypted & secure site-wide interface provides an increased level of security & trust for all website activity and engagement.
Online since 2003, VerySpecialCamps.com strives to maintain its position and reputation as a leader in camp search for individuals with special needs.
New: Transition Program Added
Transition Program has recently been added to the list of searchable categories under “program type“.
Summer camps offering Transition Programs are designed to provide individuals with special needs a tailored plan involving the acquisition of necessary vocational, behavioral, and social skills to function independently as an adult within the workplace and other settings. While many camps serving individuals with special needs address these issues to various extents, certain transition programs are more focused to facilitate a progression into meet responsibilities and attain the necessarily level of self-sufficiency required for independent living.
Currently, Transition Programs and Therapeutic Riding are the only two program type categories denoted on VerySpecialCamps.com that reflect specific modes of programming and education; as opposed to being a reflection of the underlying particular special need. In other words, there are a wide variety of underlying conditions that may be suitable for either a Transition Program or Therapeutic Riding. Nonetheless, it is important to discuss the particular nature and scope of any given program with the camp director or program administrator.
If you operator a camp offering a definitive Transition Program to individuals with special needs and would like to list your camp on VerySpecialCamps.com, please click here to review listing options and to sign up now.
Visit CampRentalChannel.com for group rental opportunities
Are you seeking a facility to host a special event, retreat, family reunion, wedding, company outing, or other large event? A large number of summer camps make their facilities available for rent to groups looking to host various events and functions prior to and upon completion of their primary camp sessions.
CampRentalChannel.com is specifically dedicated to camp rentals and has recently received several significant feature additions and enhancements to improve usability on both desktops and mobile devices. Visitors to CampRentalChannel.com are able to quickly obtain specific and detailed information with respect to particular criteria of any given group’s needs with respect to a group rental situation:
Programming and other services offered
Facilities available for use
Conference & meeting rooms
If you are a director of a camp that offers group rentals and would like to list your camp on CampRentalChannel.com, feel free to view listing options and sign up at:
New: Therapeutic Riding
We have recently included a new category dedicated to camps offering therapeutic riding; as either one aspect of a larger diversified program, or as the principal focus of an exclusive program emphasis.
Therapeutic riding falls under the more general classification of “Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies” EAAT for individuals with special needs and may be used as a component of an integrated treatment regimen to achieve objectives related to cognitive, motor, social, or other skill improvements. Benefits include, but are not limited to: increased flexibility and range of motion, improved balance and strength, sensory, speech, confidence and self-esteem.
Instructor and equine specialist certification for various EAAT applications may be obtained for individuals through a professional association such as PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). Likewise, camps and other organizations may have earned and retained accreditation through an association such as PATH, who’s stated mission is:
“The PATH Intl. mission is to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.”
It is important to note: many camps dedicated to individuals with special needs may offer “horseback riding” as a general activity in various capacities, while other camps might have adopted a core program crafted exclusively with respect to therapeutic riding (and other aspects of EAAT) as their primary modality of therapy. If you are specifically seeking a camp dedicated to therapeutic riding, it is important to be aware of the broad spectrum of programs available and to inquire with respective camp directors about their camp and staff’s level of training, certification, and expertise.
If you are an owner/operator of a camp offering therapeutic riding (in any capacity) to individuals with special needs and would like to list your camp on VerySpecialCamps.com, please click here to review listing options and to sign up now.
New: Lightbox Interface for Photos
Newly installed feature allows visitors to more effectively view photos and other multi-media contained within both camp listings and search results.
By clicking on the smaller “thumbnail” photos, a larger full-sized version of the image will appear; overlay-ed and centered upon a semi-opaque background to provide optimal focus and contrast in a more elegant style.
The new lightbox interface minimizes distraction from other page elements by isolating photos from other components which might appear within the viewers screen.
Likewise, viewing photos on a mobile device is now more user friendly versus the old pop-up style – which had invoked a new browser window.
Are you a Camp Director, seeking to integrate photos within your camp’s listing on VerySpecialCamps.com? Please visit our listing options, or contact us if you have any questions or are in need of assistance.