Children entering grades 7 to 11 (ages 12 to 17) can join us for a week of camp specifically tailored for those with an autism spectrum disorder who need extra support to succeed at camp. Specially trained staff will lead the Shooting Stars, giving campers a unique opportunity to experience the outdoors.
Campers must be dropped off at Camp Sealth on Vashon Island. They will have the option of riding “Da Boata” home to Seattle at the end of the week, or can be picked up at camp.
Who is Eligible?
Shooting Stars is geared toward youth entering grades 7 to 11 (ages 12 to 17) with mild to moderate autism. Kids who are a good fit for Shooting Stars should meet most of these qualifications:
- Are interested and/or excited about the idea of camp
- Will participate in activities on some level
- Can follow step-by-step instructions and/or accept guidance
- Are not often physically aggressive or self-injurious
- Are not currently engaging in property destruction, eloping, or pica (eating non-food items)
- Can regulate emotions or accept assistance (prompting) with emotion regulation
- Can perform self-care independently, with prompting, or with some assistance
- Can identify basic needs
Many youth who are higher-functioning on the autism spectrum may be more successful attending a Classic Camp or other program offered at Camp Sealth. More information about including special needs at camp can be found here. Contact camp staff to discus whether Shooting Stars is a good fit for your child.
Staffing & Training
Shooting Stars is staffed primarily by Camp Sealth counselors, many of whom are multi-year staff members and/or those who have special interest or experience in working with youth with special needs. Staff go through additional training specific to working with kids with autism, in addition to the ten days of training they receive at the beginning of the summer. Youth are paired with a one-on-one staff member for the week, and extra staff members are available for support throughout the week.
Shooting Stars campers will get a chance to experience all of the typical Classic Camp activities, and some special activities reserved just for them, all adapted to meet their unique needs. Activity instruction will take place at their own pace and staff will encourage kids to challenge themselves and try new things. Activities include archery, boating, fishing, team-building, outdoor cooking, hiking, marine touch tanks, pony rides and horse time, arts & crafts, games, and much more.
When you register for Shooting Stars, you’ll complete a camper assessment to help us determine whether your child is a good fit for the program. After registration, camp staff will review your child’s assessment, and notify you if we determine that your child is not a good fit. In that case, we can either transfer to another program, or your fees can be fully refunded.