Camps and Activities for Children with Special Needs or Disabilities

Youth Camps and Activities

child swimmingActivities and Camp Opportunities:
ADHD | Academic | Cross Disability | Developmental Disabilities | Equine Therapy | Health Related Special Needs|  Hearing Impairments | Recreation | Physical Disabilities | Transition Programs | Visual Impairments

Please check back for updates.  If you are aware of additions to include in this listing, please contact SD Parent Connection at

Find additional programs and activities through your
  • libraries and community centers
  • schools and churches
  • youth leagues or sports organizations
  • park and recreation programs
  • youth organizations such as Boy/Girl Scouts, Boys/Girls Clubs, YMCA or YWCA
  • childcare facilities and programs
  • 211 Helpline (where available)
  • independent living centers
  • organizations serving individuals with disabilities or special needs
  • United Way or Chamber of Commerce offices
Consider programs/activities that your child's typically developing peers are involved in. Many are supportive and willing to accommodate a child with a special need.  Your child will gain opportunities for fun and friendships.

Cost a factor?
When exploring opportunities for your child/family, do not hesitate to ask program staff about discounted fees, sliding fee scales for families with Medicaid/limited resources; scholarships for children with special needs; or referrals to programs that may provide financial assistance so children may participate.

If your family is involved with any state or local programs to support your child with special needs, check to see if that may be a resource for financial assistance for recreational or educational opportunities.  If not, ask them for referrals.


ADHD Friendly Programs for Summer

ADDitude: 2019 Camp & School Directory for ADHD/LD Students


LifeScape  - Rapid City



Power Reading and Spelling, Extreme Speech, Social Skills

LifeScape  - Sioux Falls



Handwriting, Let's Talk with AAC, Helping Hands, Power Mobility, Social Skills, Family Fun Fitness Camp

Music Therapy Services - Sioux Falls 
Notable Start  Developmental Music Program, Teen Tones Peer Group Band

Cross Disability

Adaptive Aquatics - Lifescape - Sioux Falls
Year around programming for toddlers through age 21.

Adaptive Aquatics - Sanford Wellness Center - Sioux Falls 
605 328-1600
Two sessions annually, the school session runs September thru May and the summer session runs June thru August. To sign up, call or email

Very Special - Nationwide

Brookings Area Camp Adventure
A barrier-free day camp experience located in Brookings, South Dakota for individuals with special needs. Contact Shawnalisa at or visit the website.

Children's Therapy Services - Rapid City
Handwriting Camps, Reading Groups, Speech Groups (or individual), Autism Groups, Aquatic Therapy, and additional activities. Email at or visit website.

Lifescape - Rapid City 

Power Reading and Spelling, Extreme Speech, Social Skills

LifeScape  - Sioux Falls
Handwriting, Let's Talk with AAC, Helping Hands, Power Mobility, Social Skills, Family Fun Fitness Camp

Lutheran Social Services School and Summer Programs - Sioux Falls  (Formerly Here4YOUTh)
Childcare, after school, summer and respite programming for ages 3-21.

Music Therapy Services - Sioux Falls 
Notable Start  Developmental Music Program, Teen Tones Peer Group Band

Our Camp, Inc. - Glendo and Story, Wyoming 
Camping opportunities for individuals with physical, social, or cognitive disabilities. Camps run for three, four and six day for ages 5-18, 19-39, and 40+. For information, call or email

True Friends - Minnesota (Formerly Courage - Minnesota)
Offer camp opportunities throughout the summer at 5 camp sites.  Some camps are specific to a special need or disability.  Respite weekends also available. Contact at 952-852-0101 or visit website.

Kids - Nationwide

My Summer - Nationwide

Summer - Nationwide

Camp High Hopes - Sioux City
Sleep Away and Day Camp sessions. Call at 712-224-2267 ext:102

Developmental Disabilities

Special Journey's, LLC
Call 402-884-1014 for Omaha office or 913-227-0044 for Kansas City Office. Omaha office serves Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. Kansas City office serves Kansas and Missouri. Email at
Trips Inc. Special Adventures - Nationwide 

Equine Therapy

Therapeutic Riding Programs - Statewide

Eagles Ride Equine Center - Piedmont

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Hope Reins Equestrian Outreach - Baltic

Horse Power (formerly Handi-Riders) -Sioux Falls

Joy Ranch - Florence
Riding for a Reason allows people with disabilities the opportunity to achieve new successes in horsemanship. These sessions are 4 one-hour lesson.  For more information, contact Morgan at 605-866-4622 or email at Call toll free at 1-800-888-1464. Visit website for more information.

SunCatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy - Rapid City
Email at

SPURS Therapeutic Riding Center - Aberdeen

STARS-Special Training & Riding Skills - Brookings

Contact Pat Connors at 605-692-7852 or email at for more information

Health Related Special Needs

Camp Gilbert - Waubay
Camp for children ages 8 - 18 with diabetes. Located at NeSoDak camp near Waubay. Call at 605-212-6027 or email at

Camp Odayin - Stillwater, Minnesota
1-866-963-2946 or 651-351-9185
Day, residential and family camps for children with heart disease. Email at

Diabetes - Nationwide
Call at 651-351-9185

Kamp for Kids - Family Diabetes Camp

For children with diabetes.

NeedyMeds Camps
This is a listing of camps for children and adults with specific diseases, and for children who have a parent or a family member with a specific disease. These are not necessarily free camps, or camps for financially needy children and families. But, some of these camps offer financial aid, so contact the individual camp for details. If you're looking for programs that provide general financial aid for camping or other activities, then go to the Diagnosis Based Assistance area of NeedyMeds and search by the specific disease.

The programs listed in this database include camps for children with one specific disease, whole types of diseases (such as all types of cancers) or broader chronic diseases. Many of these camps are funded by either private or government organizations. Some camps take children from anywhere in the U.S., while others are limited to people in specific states. Most have some type of eligibility requirements, usually financial ones.

How to Search for Camps

Hearing Impairments

Summer Language Enrichment Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students - Sioux Falls
Provides students the opportunity to acquire language skills, experience socialization with peers and community activities, and observe adult deaf role models. Weekly thematic units and field trips will reinforce language, socialization skills and culture. For more information, contact Julie Luke at or 605-201-5702.


Adaptive Aquatics - Sanford Wellness Center - Sioux Falls 
605 328-1600
Two sessions annually, the school session runs September thru May and the summer session runs June thru August. To sign up, call or email

Dakota Spirit Sparkers - Sioux Falls
Offering a positive experience through cheerleading for child to young adult athletes with special abilities. Spring, fall and winter sessions.

Just Jymnastics - Rapid City
Offers traditional gymnastics classes and classes for students with different physical or cognitive abilities or emotional needs.

Joy Ranch - 886-4622
A barrier free camp and retreat center with an 1880s theme located north of Watertown.
Camps scheduled throughout the summer for children, families and adults. People of all disabilities are welcome to participate in all programs at Joy Ranch. Email at or call toll free at 1-800-888-1464 or local at  605-274-4622. Visit the website at

Miracle League, Sioux Empire Baseball Association - Sioux Falls
Youth Division for players ages 5-18 with special needs. Adult Division is for players ages 18 and older with special needs. Email at or visit website for applications

Native American Advocacy Program Camps
 Visit or call Marla C. Bull Bear at 605-775-2147.

Personal Fitness Training - Sanford Wellness Center - Sioux Falls
605-328-1600 - Oxbow Location
Individual and group  fitness sessions with personal coach. For youth with special needs. For information, call or email Carole Wolf, certified teacher at

PDR Youth Deer Hunt - Clark
Annual fall event. A real South Dakota hunting experience for physically-challenged, including wheelchair enabled adolescents ages 12-18. Free.

Sioux Wheelers - Sioux Falls
Wheelchair basketball for children, youth and adults of all abilities. Participation is not limited to those who use a wheelchair. Email contact and website is

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation- Summer Developmental Track Meets


South Dakota Dept of Games, Fish and Park - Statewide
Strives to accommodate the needs of people of all abilities by providing greater accessibility to facilities and programs for persons with disabilities.

Special Olympics South Dakota - Statewide
605-331-4117 or 1-800-585-2114
Aberdeen, Brookings, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Yankton

Skiing and Snowboarding - Great Bear
Great Bear Skiing in Sioux Falls offers adaptive skiing program for people with disabilities. Lessons offer specialized gear and individual instruction. Each lesson includes private instruction, equipment and a lift ticket. 2 hour lessons are $40. For more information call Great Bear at 605-367-6031.

Soccer Camp - Sioux Falls

Dakota Alliance Soccer Club

Special Olympics United - Wolf Pack Team
Teams for participation in Special Olympics South Dakota. For information, please e-mail or contact Carole Wolf at 605-261-5716.

US National Parks and Federal Recreation Areas
Persons with disabilities can get a Free, Lifetime Access Pass to National Parks and Federal Recreation area in the United States.

Physical Disabilities

Adaptive - Nationwide
Email at or visit the website for more information.

Meeting the Need - Black Hills

A unique wheelchair friendly wilderness retreat located on an old tin mining operation in the Black Hills. Contact Vern Shafer at or visit the website for more information.
Joy Ranch - Watertown
Toll Free 1-800-888-1464 ; Local 605-274-4622
A barrier free camp and retreat center with 1880s western theme located north of Watertown. People of all abilities are welcome to participate in all programs at Joy Ranch. Contact Joy Ranch at for more information or visit

Transition Programs

Independent Living Choices (ILC)
Free program for students 16-21 with IEPs who plan to live independently, find employment and/or obtain post-secondary education. Email at or visit the website for more information.

Visual Impairments

SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Summer Programs
605-626-2580 or 1-888-275-3814
The SDSBVI Extended School Year Summer Program will bring together blind and visually impaired students from across South Dakota for learning and fun on the campus at the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Aberdeen, SD. Students who are blind or visually impaired, ages 6-21, who reside in South Dakota , may attend free of charge. Students residing outside of the state may attend on a tuition basis. For More information contact Dawn LaMee at

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The contents of this website were developed under grants from the U.S. Department of Education Project Grant H328M140021; Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grant H84MC07994, Family to Family Health Information Center, $96,750 and approximately 5% financed with non-governmental resources. The contents should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by US Department of Education, HRSA, HHS or the Federal Government.