More than 92% of campers found it easier to socialize and make new friends after attending Adventure Camp.
Variety’s Adventure Camp program provides a free day camp experience to kids and teens with special needs throughout the St. Louis region. Camp makes it possible for Variety Kids to have exciting adventures and meet lifelong friends.
By forming friendships in this welcoming space, Variety Kids are empowered to engage with others outside of Camp. Each camper is also encouraged to try new things, focusing on an “I can” attitude that promotes independence and confidence.
Adventure Camp is available to children ages 4 – 16 and is offered for multiple weeks throughout the summer as well as a few days over winter break. Teen Camp is open to those ages 14 – 20 and is available several weeks of the summer as well as a few days in winter.
Activities at Adventure Camp and Teen Camp have historically included swimming, ice skating, fishing, playing games, making crafts, music time, visiting St. Louis-area attractions and much more.
In the summer of 2020, a Virtual Adventure Camp and Teen Camp was held for the first time, featuring activities such as games, crafts, virtual field trips, songs and more. This made it possible for Variety Kids to have fun while staying safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the summer of 2021, Variety St. Louis has made the decision to once again host a virtual Camp program out of concern for the continued health and safety of Variety Kids and Teens.
Virtual Summer Camp 2021
St. Louis-area children and teens (ages 4 – 20) with physical or developmental disabilities are invited to attend our free Virtual Summer Camp, which will take place on our clickto.camp platform for six weeks in the summer of 2021 (see the schedule below). A morning and an afternoon session – each lasting approximately two and a half hours – are available. And, new this year, both Adventure Camp and Teen Camp will be offered every week, giving parents more choices to fit into busy schedules!
Campers will be split into groups based on age, with siblings placed in the same group so that they are working on the same activities and projects together. All participants will receive a free box of materials in advance that will include all of the necessary resources for virtual Camp, including craft and game supplies – activities will be selected based on age appropriateness for each age group.
As always, caring and enthusiastic staff members will lead the groups as well as every activity. They will be available to assist with any questions your camper may have during each session! Campers will have a blast and learn new skills through engaging activities such as crafts, games, music time, virtual field trips and much more, all while socializing with friends both old and new.
Here are a few quotes from Variety parents, talking about this new Camp experience:
“By the time Evelyn went through the different activity 'rooms,' she ran into old leaders and fellow campers and was just smiling for the rest of the day. It’s been so hard for her to be home with just mom and dad as companions. I felt like her social skills were regressing. It was good to see her interacting with others.” – Variety Mom Carolyn
“Zoe absolutely loved every minute of camp. On Friday, she asked for the computer when she woke up so she could go to camp. The counselors did an amazing job connecting with the campers.” – Variety Mom Michelle
“My son, Will, enjoyed camp last week! I was sad for him when I heard that camp was cancelled. This was his first year for camp and I was so excited for him to have the experience. Robin and the counselors did a great job with the virtual camp! Will loved it!” – Variety Mom Melinda
“Ryan enjoyed his week of Camp. I thought all of you did an incredible job navigating everything and creating a personal touch.” – Variety Dad Tim
Schedule for Virtual Adventure Camp and Teen Camp 2021:
Week 1: June 7 – 11, 2021
Week 2: June 14 – 18, 2021
Week 3: June 21 – 25, 2021
Week 4: July 12 – 16, 2021
Week 5: July 19 – 23, 2021
Week 6: July 26 – 30, 2021
Registration for Summer Camp 2021 will be open from 10 a.m. on Monday, January 4 through 4 p.m. on April 1, 2021. The registration link is HERE. Due to the expanded capacity a virtual camp program offers, all those who apply during this timeframe and meet the requirements will be able to attend at least one week of virtual Camp. All registrants will have the chance to select their preferred weeks (with each receiving up to three weeks total) as well as their preferred time slot (morning or afternoon) for each of those weeks. We will do our best to accommodate your preferences!
Please note that, to ensure an engaging experience for everyone, we will track attendance just like with in-person Camp. Those who register but do not attend without advance notice may compromise their ability to register for Camp in the future.
Questions? Please contact Senior Program Manager Robin Diehl via email.
If you’d like to donate to help us make the impossible, possible for Variety Kids, click here. Thank you!
“At Adventure Camp, I got to go places I had never been before and I got to do activities I didn’t think I could do!” – Variety Teen Andrew