Resources

News & Feature Updates


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:

Click Here to Take Action!

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:

https://www.specialolympics.org/stories/news/special-olympics-responds-to-proposed-funding-cuts-for-education-programs-in-the-united-states

Learn more about Special Olympics:

https://www.specialolympics.org/

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.

Camp Directors: Update Your Camp Listing

Camp directors are encouraged to update your camp’s listing(s) on VerySpecialCamps.com with respect to any time sensitive information such as:

  • Session dates
  • Rates / cost
  • Changes in camp programming
  • New facilities
  • etc.

Click here  in order to modify your listing. You are welcome to update your information as often as necessary.

Alternatively, you can select Upgrade Listing instead if you are seeking to to upgrade your listing to a Multi-Media Listing ($99/yr. – 12 consecutive months):  affording a higher ranking than free listings and allows you to display:  a logo, 2 photos, map of camp location, and an embedded video.  During the upgrade process, you will be provided an opportunity to submit modifications to your listing.

If you are a prospective camper or parent seeking a summer camp for the summer of 2019, 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.

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

Available dates

Cost

Facilities available for use

Lodging Accomodations

Dining options

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:

http://www.camprentalchannel.com/directors/apply.shtml

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.

Please note: it is necessary to have JavaScript turned on within your web browser in order to take full advantage of Lightbox effect.

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.

New Responsive Web Design: Mobile Friendly

In recent months, VerySpecialCamps.com has rolled out a new Responsive web design (RWD) interface; designed to improve viewing and functionality for visitors who utilize mobile devices and tablets to access VerySpecialCamps.com. In basic terms, a RWD optimally adjusts how information is displayed and arranged on various sized screens.

We are very excited to to be able to provide a more robust user experience for individuals who access VerySpecialCamps.com on a wide range of devices other than desktop computers. Although the initial launch of our new interface was both a significant and major overhaul to our directory of summer camps and programs which serve individuals with special needs, we anticipate several subsequent releases to improve and refine appearance & functionality over the upcoming weeks and months approaching the summer of 2016.

If you have any particular suggestions or thoughts you’d like to convey to VerySpecialCamps.com regarding our new design, please do feel free to send us an email and we’ll consider your ideas for future implementation into our website design.