June 25 - 28, 2016
What do catching frogs, campfires, and wishing on stars have to do with autism? Traditionally not much. However, at Camp Kaleidoscope amazing and unexpected things have happened. Camp Kaleidoscope is a summer camp style retreat for families experiencing the autism spectrum.
Worldwide, when people talk about what really matters to them, it's family. Having a kid with autism doesn’t change this priority, but it can make family time challenging and less relaxing. Children with autism and their families need a unique type of situation to feel physically and emotionally safe to rejuvenate and play together.
Camp Kaleidoscope is more than just an autism-friendly family vacation--it was created by families for families and includes unique features such as universally accessible activities for all children; volunteer support for each family by graduate students in related health fields; art, nature, and educational activities for adults; and offers gluten/casein free choices at every meal. We have successfully run this camp with input from professionals, parent advocates, and family voices to insure that the needs of all participants are met.
Click here to download our 2015 Flier and FAQ's.
Applications will be accepted beginning in January 2016.
The goal of Camp Kaleidoscope is very simple…..to provide a relaxing summer camp experience where families affected by autism can enjoy a memorable vacation and create positive memories together.
"It was the highlight of our summer. My son only wishes we could be there ‘so I can just be me.’ The family camp has inspired him to ‘go to MIT and invent something so I can make a place like that here in Billerica.' ”
Marie ~ Massachusetts
"A further compelling aspect of the family camp for me was watching the young adult professionals in training who served as volunteer family partners gain insight during their days working with families. Rarely do these professionals have such an opportunity to see what everyday life is like for families.”
Nora Wells ~ Family Voices, MA
There’s a lot to do at Camp Kaleidoscope....
- Squish play dough
- Meet new friends
- Explore nature
- Take an afternoon nap
- Create some crafts
- Talk about autism . . . or not
- Paint with watercolors
- Play on the slip ‘n’ slide
- Do yoga
- Make connections
- Relax and read a book
- Climb the big rock
“Autism isolates. Autism hurts. Our child has autism. Our family has autism. Our life has become autism. The blessing of Camp Kaleidoscope helps us to experience the joy autism can bring when the world cares enough to create a space for us.”
~A 2008 Camper
“My kids never saw lightning bugs before we slept in a cabin at camp. We all stayed up late and watched the little lights flicker from our beds while we fell asleep.”
Trish ~ NY
Food at Camp Kaleidoscope:
Our food is usually vegetarian but we are planning some meat options for this family camp. There will be gluten and casein free choices at every meal. We do have a kitchen for campers to use themselves if necessary.
A sample menu is available for you to look at and get an idea of our meal offerings. Click here to view.
- Families who have an aide are welcome to bring an aide to camp. There will be no charge for aides.
- Each family will be assigned a Family Partner, a graduate student in an autism related field. These volunteers will help facilitate camp life for the families. They are graciously giving their time, as a gift to your family. They will be available to provide a helping hand when they can and support your family retreat.
- There will be activities for children ages 3-11. If you have someone less than 3 years old in your family, we will look forward to meeting them! Although we do not have staff to provide care for these little campers, we want to talk about the best way to support your family’s rejuvenation time at Common Ground Center.
- There will be no program for teens at Camp Kaleidoscope, only for children ages 3-11.
- All registered members of your family must plan to attend Camp K for the entire duration of the program. This program is quite popular and it would be unfair to exclude someone else to allow your family to drop in and out.
- A parent or legal guardian for every child must be on site at all times.