Camp Starfish is a unique environment, the only camp in New England to offer a one-to-one camper-to-counselor relationship.
In our program, each year more than 200 young boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 17 who struggle with debilitating psychological and learning disabilities have found the care and compassion needed to help them move forward in life.
Camp Starfish was designed, created, and structured to provide a safe, fun and skill-building therapeutic camp experience to children who, for whatever reason(s), are unable to find success in more traditional environments.
Many campers who attend Starfish have been asked to leave other summer or extra-curricular programs because the staff ratio, structure or program expectations did not set up children with extra needs for success. Some have never tried camp or spent any time away from home.
Some Starfish campers attend mainstream schools, often with IEPs or class aides. Some attend private therapeutic schools with small classes and multiple teachers. Others attend residential schools or alternative learning academies.
Many have tried several school placements and are still trying to find the right fit. All are looking for a summer camp where social interactions are appropriate and simplified, where they are not the “odd one out” and where they can feel at home.
Some, though not all, of our campers have been diagnosed with one or more of the following: anxiety, ADHD, learning disabilities (including NVLD), autism, Asperger’s, PDD, oppositional defiance, anger problems, sensory processing/ integration disorder, depression, bipolar, inflexible explosivity, reactive attachment, and other extra needs
Camp Starfish fosters the success and growth of children with emotional, behavioral and learning problems by providing individualized attention as part of structured, nurturing and fun group programs.
The Starfish philosophy, which provides 1:1 support for campers, is based on engaging campers in a variety of well-structured traditional summer camp activities in a safe and predictable environment. Through the use of Strategies, Tools, and Keys, we make camp a positive, safe place where campers are actively participating in things they enjoy.
We help children learn what it means to be accountable for their choices through positive feedback and without embarrassment, enabling them to make more productive choices in the future. Starfish is a place to “learn, grow and have fun.”
Everything at Starfish is specifically geared to meet the needs and abilities of each bunk, activity group, and child. Staff consistently seek innumerable ways to provide campers with positive reinforcement while helping them to recognize and articulate their strengths.
At Starfish, we believe in “catching children being good” and capitalizing on those experiences as teachable moments, in addition to setting up therapeutic supports to help children during times when they are struggling.
Contact: Camp Starfish
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