For 60 years, Camp Kennebec campers ages 6+ with Autism, ADHD, learning & social difficulties & other special needs have a great time & accomplish more than they ever expected, make new friends & create fabulous summer memories they deserve. Every day is a perfect blend of individual choice & 50+ waterfront, land and artistic activities including horseback riding & ziplining.
Yes, specialized support. Most campers have special needs.
What do you do differently or uniquely well?
"At Kennebec we specialize in celebrating each campers uniqueness, allowing our campers to be themselves in a safe and supportive environment. With a 2:1, camper to staff ratio; there is a lot of individual support to go around. We work with our campers, their families and their support teams at home to ensure a successful time at camp. Implementing any strategies that might help our campers while they are at camp and before arriving. "
Who are your staff and counsellors?
"We are fortunate to have a core group of well-trained, dedicated individuals who have been at Camp for years. Our kind, caring and experienced head staff members are professionals who create and perpetuate the warm, caring and fun Kennebec community that leads to success. Our counselor team includes teachers, educational assistants, child and youth care workers as well as university and college students enrolled in a variety of programs. All staff must pass criminal and personal reference checks, and a series of in-depth interviews. In addition, they take part in an intensive week of training prior to the start of camp."
What do families need to know about registration?
"Our fees are in Canadian dollars and include all lodging, meals, laundry, tuck and special group activities. Our fees do not include HST. Our eight-week camp season starts on Sunday, June 30 and runs until Saturday, August 24, 2024. All camp sessions start on Sunday and end on Saturday. To avoid disappointment and secure the weeks that you would like, please apply as early as you can. We typically have wait lists, especially for our boys’ cabins.
Please note, due to high camper application volume, you may find that certain weeks appear not to be available in our system when you apply. We hope that you can make another session work for your prospective Kennebecer. We invite you to email the camp office at [email protected]."
There are lots of camps that are inspiring, and Kennebec is at the top of that list. It is designed to support a range of special needs, though to do it in a way that doesn’t foreground them. Kids need support, yes, but the point here is to provide the support and then get on with all the things that camp can be. Says Donna Segal, “We just work so hard to give them a typical summer that every kid deserves at summer camp.” Love that. The staff is exceptional, too, in that it’s composed of post-secondary students and professional teachers who are attracted precisely by all the positive impacts that an environment like this can have in the life of a child. Per the hiring guidelines, staff must demonstrate empathy, a sense of humor, patience, and a strong desire to give the campers the summer of their lives. Love that, too. The campers have exceptionalities, but at camp, they aren’t exceptional, at least not in the way they can be in other environments. Here they are understand, and their talents are seen ahead their exceptionalities; their personalities ahead of their challenges. Kennebec is the very definition of what camp can do in the life of a child.
It’s a break for parents, but more importantly, it’s a wonderful break for our kids. They get to relax, be silly and just have fun.
Can’t imagine our lives without Camp Kennebec…
Our daughter is globally delayed with anxiety driven by obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder. When our daughter was eight years of age, the psychologist working with us asked what we thought about sending her to sleepover camp. My immediate response was “How can we even entertain this idea? She’s never ever slept over anywhere, not even for 5 minutes! The seed was planted. After some investigation, we nervously sent her off to Camp Kennebec for three weeks the following summer!
Without a doubt, it’s a break for parents, but more importantly, it’s a wonderful break for our kids. As adults/parents, we often forget how difficult it is for them or certainly can be, on a day-to-day basis always having to toe the line throughout the year and although they still have to ‘toe the line’ at camp, it’s just different. They get to relax and be silly and just have fun.
As to how our daughter feels about Camp Kennebec … 2013 will mark her 22nd summer and I think that says it all.
Thank you Camp Kennebec from all of us ...Show More
The care and attention by your entire team was remarkable. We look forward to summer of 2019.
As this summer comes to an end I want to take this time to thank you for a terrific two weeks at camp. My son had such a great time. The care and attention by your entire team was remarkable. We look forward to summer of 2019. Have a great rest of the year!!
I couldn't be happier with the experience you provided. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you doesn’t even begin to express the gratitude we feel for the experience Maya had this summer at camp. As you know, she has never been away from home before for more than 5 nights, and even for a shorter stay, we always got a call, either saying it was not workable or asking how to manage her behaviour. We didn’t get a single call for 3 weeks! And from the reports from the counselors and Maya’s own account, she adjusted relatively quickly, was happy, engaged and actually connected with other girls in her cabin,. For a neuro-normative kid this might not be a big deal, but for Maya it’s HUGE. She’s been home now for a week and seems calmer and more mature. I think she’s really pleased with how well she did, and we are enormously proud of her.
While Maya is a couple of years older than she was the last time she tried overnight camp, I don’t think she would have done as well in a different setting. It is a tribute to you and your staff, who clearly knew how to engage with her, listen to her and take her requests seriously, gently push her to be flexible when needed, and shower her with encouragement. It seemed like a big risk to send her away for 3 weeks, and I could not even have imagined it would go this well.
I couldn’t be happier with the experience you provided. Thank you, thank you, thank you ...Show More
Marny , Parent
The best summer camp ever for our kids!
I just wanted to introduce any families who’ve not heard about THE BEST summer camp ever for our kids! My daughter Charly had never ever EVER attended an overnight camp before 3 years ago and I was extremely hesitant. But I sent her for one week…and when I picked her up a week later, she was crying and didn’t want to leave. Little did I know that she’d met a ton of great friends that we would otherwise have never met. Donna is one of the camp directors and she will come out and meet your child, and the staff will study their profile. 3 years later, Charly wouldn’t dream of missing a summer at camp and last year she actually went for 5 weeks. Omg, I too would never have thought of sending her anywhere for that long but I’ll tell you, she loves it more than anything. Don’t be shy to call (613) 335-2114 or email just to inquire. Donna and Rob are so informative and patient and will give you the summer of your child’s life! We love CAMP KENNEBEC ...Show More
Jen & Ian , Parent
So many warm, lovely feelings after our sons' camp experience, I cannot even put it into words!
I am not really sure where to begin this email. We just have so many warm, lovely feelings after Will & Jack’s camp experience, I cannot even put it into words!
All we know, is that Will and Jack *really* enjoyed themselves!! When I ask them if they had fun at camp we get the most genuine, emphatic head nod “YES”, and Jack is very honest! When we ask them if they’d like to go back, we get the exact same response! We are so pleased and so happy that they had such a great, FUN experience!
From the time we met all of you, to signing the boys up for camp, to the drop off and pick up, has just been extraordinary. You, Donna, Jay, Elyse and the rest of the staff are top notch. Everyone put us at ease right from the get go, all the processes we went through were so well organized and executed. There is nothing you could have said or done to have made our experience any better than it was. We really cannot say enough good things about your camp!
THANK YOU, thanks to ALL of you for such a wonderful experience! So looking forward to 2018!
Enjoy the rest of your summer, really hoping the weather co-operates for you!!
With sincere thanks!! ...Show More
More details about accommodations: Campers sleep in cabins setback from the lake for safety, but with a lakefront view. Cabins usually house 10 campers and staff and are dormitory-style with bunk beds, cubbies and shelves for camper’s personal effects. There are washrooms with hot and cold water in each cabin and a shower house, with private stalls nearby.
Are meals provided? Yes
Is Camp Kennebec technology free?
We allow campers and families to choose if electronics should be brought to camp for your camper! However, some of our campers do carry assistive technology with them or find the use of a tablet or a gaming device a great way to decompress during down time in the cabin. Technology used for gaming or fun is always left in the cabin and can be locked in a lockbox we provide at camp - we still want campers to enjoy the outdoors and everything camp has to offer!
Rentals & Services
Offers outdoor education program for schools or corporate groups: Yes
At Camp Kennebec, we’re experts at hosting college, university, youth and religious groups, family reunions, yoga or nature retreats and friends’ getaways. In fact, many of our groups return year after year and tell us that we’re the best summer camp rental they’ve ever had.
We can take care of everything you need including providing expert staff to run activities and cook all your meals, or you and your group can handle the program by yourselves — it’s all up to you
Available for private rentals: Yes
Camp is available for rent from May to mid-June and from late-August to mid-October. Just tell us how long you want to stay!
We cannot wait to welcome your camper to Camp Kennebec! Camp is meant to be fun- and we work very hard with our trained, exceptional staff to ensure that your child has the summer of their life! We accept a wide range of campers with exceptionalities and work with you to ensure we have an individual program that we can suit to your campers needs. Contact us today so we can start the conversation about your child and planning for their summer adventure at Kennebec!
We realize the enormity of knowing all the various problems and personalities of all the campers in order to make the summer
successful for everyone. Not only do we commend you all on doing this but what we really feel good about is that you all seem to appreciate Joey for his sweet demeanour. He is a great kid who really tries his hardest to please. It is lovely that you all see that!
Only a few days and David will be arriving at camp. He is really excited and looking forward to a great month. Thank you all so much for all that you do. We really appreciate your caring and patience with our son. Have a great summer.
Thank you all so much for your caring and support. We really do feel that Emma was very successful in her time there and has certainly brought home memories that she will cherish for some time to come. Eric and I are so impressed and touched by the haven that you've created for special kids like Emma and for your personal dedication in helping each to be successful in their own way.
Please convey our thanks and appreciation to Steve and everyone who was involved in Emma's stay with you this summer.
I felt driven to send a little note thanking you for the extremely enjoyable experience I had at Kennebec last week. I was completely bowled over by what I saw as a passionate, fun, life-affirming, positive environment that you have provided for kids who ordinarily would not get to experience that in one place. I had no idea what to expect - myself with little camping experience and of course I only hoped Ellen would show you her high potential as she had shown us at school this year. I think it is incredible that this place exists solely on the dedication and support of a loyal and talented staff. I don't mean to romanticize it - it's true. Some things you can't fake. Staff sweating their buns off to provide such amazing opportunities for these special children are to be commended. Thank you and my hopes and wishes extend for a continued safe and happy summer.