More Than a Summer Camp!

Since 1934, the Children’s Summer Therapy Camp has been the heart of what we do here at Bay Cliff.

Every year, around 150 children come through the gates of Bay Cliff for a summer filled with life-changing therapy and summer-camp fun. Guiding them along the way is a dedicated staff of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and other healthcare professionals along with activity instructors, cabin counselors, lifeguards, and numerous other support personnel who live right on camp with the children for the duration of the summer.

Children's Summer Therapy Camp

While there are many amazing summer camp opportunities for children living with a disability, Bay Cliff is unique in that it provides a full-residential summer camp for children who demonstrate a proven need for therapy services and can be successful in our setting. In fact, we are the only program in the country where the campers themselves reside at camp for seven full weeks (that’s 49 days in a row!) to participate in an intensive and individualized therapy program. A typical, week-long, summer camp can certainly be fun, offering things like roasting marshmallows, going on boat rides, participating in swimming lessons and such, but with our summer-long session, we are able to provide all the same opportunities and more as a means to reinforce and compliment incredible therapy that transforms lives and builds futures.

Over the Course of a Summer

The teen campers, who have added privileges and responsibilities as part of the “Teen Program,” (which includes their own prom that’s every bit as memorable as prom at their school) practice public speaking and self-advocacy while presenting to large groups. Others, like the preschoolers, are just beginning to learn about their individual needs (children age 3-5 stay for three and a half weeks, rather than the full seven week session). Several campers increase their strength to go longer distances using a walker. One leaves her wheelchair to walk with crutches. Others learn ways to independently brush teeth, style hair, or put on a shirt. One performs a “wet exit” from an adapted kayak for the very first time. Some stand through the flag ceremony with the aid of one crutch instead of two. A boy learns to feed himself with a modified spoon; a girl tells jokes with a computer that acts as her voice. Many fashion crafts with their hands that they have never made before. They play new games and enjoy fun twists on old ones. They learn to care for the environment around them and the curious creatures that inhabit it. Everyone advances in those old-fashioned values of manners, sharing, helping each other, and taking turns!

Children's Summer Therapy Camp

Boating fun!

The Application Process

All children (ages 3-17) living with a physical disability may be considered for Bay Cliff Health Camp’s Summer Therapy Program. If a child meets the Eligibility Criteria, parents and/or therapists must submit a Referral Form to begin the application process. The Eligibility Criteria and Referral Form are available on Bay Cliff’s website. Referral Forms may also be available through the child’s home school or special education service programs.


Steps to Completing the Application:

Step 1: Complete the Referral Form and Send to Bay Cliff

Step 2: Once received, the Referral Form begins the Application Process

Step 3: Bay Cliff will send portions of the Camper Application to parents/guardians, therapists, and classroom teachers currently working with the child. Once this paperwork is received from all parties, Bay Cliff will determine eligibility. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Parents will receive a phone call if their child does not meet the requirements to attend camp for the 2020 session.

Step 4: Once a child is accepted, to complete the registration process, families of eligible campers will receive an Enrollment Packet in the mail. This packet contains additional information necessary to ensure the success and safety of all Bay Cliff Campers. A COMPLETE ENROLLMENT PACKET IS NECESSARY TO FINALIZE THE REGISTRATION PROCESS. Children will not be able to participate  in the summer program unless all materials have been received by JUNE 1, 2020

Children's Summer Therapy Camp

Waiting for the camping trip!

NOTE: Bay Cliff encourages families to complete this process as soon as possible. We cannot guarantee that all eligible campers will be able to attend camp. Our ability to secure highly qualified staff may affect our ability to accept all applicants. Bay Cliff will notify families if their child has been placed on a waiting list.