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General Information
The summer of 2016 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Special Camp for Special Kids, a day camp for youths with disabilities, which annually touches the lives of many youngsters. Facilitated at St. Margaret's Episcopal School in lovely, historic San Juan Capistrano, the camp offers an exceptional opportunity for disabled and non-disabled youths  to interact within a loving and fun atmosphere. Special Camp hosts over 220 youths with disabilities each year along with more than 220 volunteer counselors from all over Southern California and the nation. 

Special Camp's revolutionary one-to-one camper-to-counselor ratio (a statistic that does not include at least 20 additional unpaired volunteers and staff members) provides a unique educational and recreational environment. The one-to-one ratio continues to be the foundational basis and catalyst for the Special Camp Family. Our camp is truly a one-of-a-kind summer camp for all who are involved. Campers venture with their counselors through a variety of activities which seek to enhance the campers' learning abilities, communication skills, emotional well-being, social-development, and sensory characteristics. Campers blossom through the magic of the camper-counselor relationship. However, it is not only campers who benefit from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Counselors are given the rare chance to work in a positive, nurturing environment that seeks to foster an educational atmosphere in which there are opportunities to explore the intricacies and the needs of the disabled community. The eventual goal for our counselors is to eliminate the stigma commonly associated with being disabled. Ultimately, campers and counselors excel in an extraordinary, loving and FUN summer camp experience.

Overview of Camp Activities
Special Camp consists of four one-week sessions along with additional days devoted to counselor training seminars and meetings. On the first day of each camp session, campers and counselors become acquainted as they share activities on the St. Margaret's campus. They enjoy an Arts and Craft center which highlights approximately ten ongoing art projects in addition to a variety of specialty projects. They may also visit the Entertainment center, where campers and counselors are transformed into "stars for the day." There is an endless array of costumes and props for them to enjoy, as well as real video cameras and monitors to record their skits and songs, and even their news broadcasts. The Sports center includes ambulatory and non-ambulatory activities. Finally, the Games and Reading center features a collection of over 200 hundred children's and young adult books, in addition to well over 75 board games and puzzles, computers, and video game systems.  Each Monday afternoon has a theme around which all of the activities revolve. In the past, themes have included Special Camp Out of this World, Special Camp Island Paradise, Special Camp Saves the Day, and many more. Activities may include scavenger hunts, puppet shows, magicians, or carnivals. Mondays allow campers and counselors to get to know one another and to begin building strong friendship.

For the remainder of the week-long camp session, campers and counselors board buses each morning and meet the community at Harbor Beach in Oceanside, Chuck E. Cheese's, San Diego Zoo, Knott's Berry Farm, Adventure City, Forest Lanes, and much more. At the conclusion of each week, campers, counselors, and their families come together at the Geraldine ParentFriday Evening Family Picnic and Award Ceremony to share a meal and the "tales" of the week.

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