Ability camp is a “camp within a camp” designed for youth who, in order to be safe and successful, require smaller ratios than what you may find in a traditional camp environment. Ability camp is a fully mainstreamed, inclusive program that provides support for children and adolescents entering grades Kindergarten through age 26, in smaller ratios, alongside their age-similar peers of all abilities. Counselors work to provide physical, emotional, behavior, and cognitive support to help campers fully participate and succeed in outdoor/indoor camp activities.
To be successful in Ability Summer Camp, campers should be mainstreamed at least part of the day during school and be successful in a 1:3 ratio. Campers also must be independent with toileting and feeding. Students who require 1:1 support for any of the above are welcome at Ability Camp with the assistance of a personal care aid, TSS, or other support person provided by the family.
Traditional Adventure, Specialty & Sports Camp for youth with disAbilities
K-7th | Ability Adventure, Speciality and Sports camps are immersive, mainstream-inclusive summer camp programs for children and tweens
entering grades K through 7th with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities or behavioral health concerns.
Leaders in Training for teens & young adults with special needs
Age 14-21 | Ability Summer Teen Leaders in Training (LITs) is designed for teens ages 14-21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities to develop practical skills in volunteering/job training, community learning, and health & wellness.
Camp Discoverers, age 22-26
Camp Discoverers is for young adults ages 22-26 who want to work on increasing their independence and discover connections with new friends and their community through Camp Bucks summer camp programs.
Working in their cohort throughout the week, Camp Discoverers will have time to practice their skills in action, and participate in Fun Friday camp activities.
Doylestown branch only
How to Apply
Registration for Ability Summer Camp programs is by application only. Parent input and involvement in planning and managing behaviors is also expected. Prior to enrolling in Ability Summer camp at the Y, parents/guardians must complete an intake application packet. Please see below for details regarding the application process.
Application Process for NEW Campers/LITs*
Your child is considered a new camper if they have never attended an
Ability Summer Camp program at YMCA of Bucks County.
- Contact camp leadership staff to obtain an application intake packet.
- Complete application intake packet and return to camp leadership staff.
- The intake application packet is reviewed by camp leadership staff.
- Upon review, a new camper interview will be scheduled with camp leadership staff, at least one parent/guardian, and the camper present. Camp registration approval decision will be made after this meeting and then relayed to parents.
- If approved to register, proceed to the Welcome Center to complete the registration packet and camp selection grid. Financial and liability waivers will be signed at this time and camp payments schedule
Application Process for RETURNING Campers/LITs*
Your child is considered a returning camper if they have previously
attended at least one full week of Ability Summer Camp at YMCA of
- Contact camp leadership staff to obtain a returning camper update form.
- Complete update form and return to camp leadership staff.
- Form is reviewed by camp leadership staff. Camp registration approval decision will be made once form is reviewed.**
- 4. If approved to register, proceed to the Welcome Center to complete the registration packet and camp selection grid. Financial and liability waivers will be signed at this time and camp payments schedule.