South Dakota Parent Connection home

Camps and Activities

Please check back for updates. If you are aware of additions to include in this listing, please contact South Dakota Parent Connection at sdpc@sdparent.org

Find additional programs and activities through your local:

  • 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.

ADHD

ADHD Friendly Programs for Summer
additudemag.com

ADDitude:  Camp & School Directory for ADHD/LD Students
additudemag.com

Academic

LifeScape – Rapid City
1-800-584-9298
605-444-9700
Power Reading and Spelling, Extreme Speech, Social Skills
lifescapesd.org

 

LifeScape – Sioux Falls
1-800-584-9298
605-444-9700
Handwriting, Let’s Talk with AAC, Helping Hands, Power Mobility, Social Skills, Family Fun Fitness Camp
lifescapesd.org

 

Music Therapy Services – Sioux Falls
605-310-8268
Notable Start Developmental Music Program, Teen Tones Peer Group Band
musictherapyservicessd.com

Cross Disability

Adaptive Aquatics – Lifescape – Sioux Falls

lifescapesd.org
605-444-9579
Year around programming for toddlers through age 21. 

Adaptive Aquatics – Sanford Wellness Center – Sioux Falls 

sanfordhealth.org
605-328-1600

Two sessions annually, the school session runs September through May and the summer session runs June through August. 

Very Special Camps.com – Nationwide
veryspecialcamps.com

Brookings Area Camp Adventure

brookingscampadven.wix.com

A barrier-free day camp experience located in Brookings, South Dakota for individuals with special needs. 

Children’s Therapy Services – Rapid City

childrenstherapyservicessd.com
605-716-2634
Handwriting Camps, Reading Groups, Speech Groups (or individual), Autism Groups, Aquatic Therapy, and additional activities. 

Lifescape – Rapid City

lifescapesd.org
1-800-584-9298
Power Reading  and Spelling, Extreme Speech, and Social Skills. 

LifeScape – Sioux Falls

lifescapesd.org
1-800-584-9298
Handwriting, Let’s Talk with AAC, Helping Hands, Power Mobility, Social Skills,  and Family Fun Fitness Camp.

Lutheran Social Services School and Summer Programs – Sioux Falls (Formerly Here4YOUTh)

lsssd.org
605-271-6327
Childcare, after school, summer and respite programming for ages 3-21.

Music Therapy Services – Sioux Falls
605-310-8268
Notable Start Developmental Music Program, Teen Tones Peer Group Band
musictherapyservicessd.com

Our Camp, Inc. – Glendo and Story, Wyoming

ourcampwy.org

facebook.com/ourcampwy
605-484-4741
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+. 

True Friends – Minnesota (Formerly Courage Camps.org – Minnesota)

952-852-0101

 truefriends.org
Offer camp opportunities throughout the summer at 5 camp sites. Some camps are specific to a special need or disability. Respite weekends also available. 

Kids Camps.com – Nationwide
kidscamps.com

My Summer Camps.com – Nationwide
mysummercamps.com

Summer Daycamps.com – Nationwide
summer-daycamps.com

Camp High Hopes – Sioux City
camphighhopes.com

712-224-2267 ext:102

Sleep Away and Day Camp sessions. 

Developmental Disabilities

Special Journey’s, LLC
402-884-1014 – Omaha office 

913-227-0044 – Kansas City Office

Omaha office serves Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.  The Kansas City office serves Kansas and Missouri. Email at info@specialjourneys.org

 

Trips Inc. Special Adventures – Nationwide
tripsinc.com

Equine Therapy

THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAMS – STATEWIDE
Eagles Ride Equine Center – Piedmont
605-787-6657
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy 

facebook.com/EaglesRideEquineCenter

 

Horse Power (formerly Handi-Riders) -Sioux Falls
 horsepowersf.com

605-251-1685

Equestrian programs/therapies for individuals with physical, emotional, and/or cognitive challenges in a quest for personal independence, accomplishment, self-pride and well-being. Equestrian therapy for individuals with physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges.

 

Joy Ranch – Florence

joyranch@losd.org

1-800-888-1464.

Riding for a Reason allows people with disabilities the opportunity to achieve new successes in horsemanship. These sessions are 4 one-hour lessons.

 

SunCatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy – Rapid City
suncatchertra.org
605-939-4907

Provides inclusive equine-assisted therapeutic horsemanship, guided by experienced instructors, that empowers people with disabilities to flourish and thrive.

 

SPURS Therapeutic Riding Center – Aberdeen
facebook.com/spursTRC
spursaberdeen.org
605-226-1099

Providing opportunities for growth through horse-related activities for individuals with special needs.

 

STARS-Special Training & Riding Skills – Brookings

starsbrookings.org
605-690-0259 
Facebook Page: facebook.com/brookingareastars
Offers a unique form of physical and emotional therapy for those with unique abilities. It is a recreational, therapeutic horsemanship program for persons with disabilities ages six and older in Brookings and the surrounding community. 

Camp Gilbert – Waubay

campgilbert.com

605-212-6027 
Camp for children ages 8 – 18 with diabetes. Located at NeSoDak camp near Waubay. 

 

Camp Odayin – Stillwater, Minnesota

campodayin.com
1-866-963-2946 
Day, residential and family camps for children with heart disease. 

 

Diabetes Camps.org – Nationwide
diabetescamps.org

 651-351-9185

 

Kamp for Kids – Family Diabetes Camp
diabetesincorporated.org

For children with diabetes.

 

NeedyMeds Camps
239-985-3554
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.

Hearing Impairments

Summer Language Enrichment Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students – Sioux Falls
605-201-5702
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 julie.luke@sdsd.sdbor.edu.

 

Camp UBU – You Be You! – Lake Poinsett, SD
(218) 203-0670
Camp UBU is the opportunity for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children to meet peers and adults who are like them, to be free of communication barriers, and make lifetime friendships. Often, Camp UBU is what sustains our campers throughout the year. 

Camp UBU is for Deaf & Hard of Hearing campers who have completed 2-8th grades. We serve campers from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa.

For more information, email CampUBU@gmail.com.

Recreation

Adaptive Aquatics – Sanford Wellness Center – Sioux Falls 

sanfordhealth.org
605-328-1600

Two sessions annually, the school session runs September through May and the summer session runs June through August. 

Dakota Spirit Sparkers – Sioux Falls

dakotaspirit.com

605-373-0414
Offering a positive experience through cheerleading for children to young adult athletes with special abilities. Spring, fall and winter sessions.

Just Jymnastics – Rapid City

justjymnastics.com
605-341-5914
Offers traditional gymnastics classes and classes for students with different physical or cognitive abilities or emotional needs. 

Joy Ranch

joyranchofsd.org

(800) 888-1464 
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. 

Miracle League, Sioux Empire Baseball Association – Sioux Falls

siouxempirebaseball.org
605-336-3462
Youth Division for players ages 5-18 with special needs. The Adult Division is for players ages 18 and older with special needs. 

Lakota Youth Development ( Known as Native American Advocacy Program Camps)
lakotayouthdevelopment.org

 605-775-2147

Activities include instruction and awareness activities in Lakota spirituality, prayer and home dwelling construction, traditional gathering and food preparation, and traditional Lakota ceremonies, arts, dance, song, language integration, games, storytelling and sports.

Personal Fitness Training – Sanford Wellness Center – Sioux Falls

sanfordhealth.org
605-328-1600 – Oxbow Location
Individual and group  fitness sessions with personal coach. For youth with special needs. 

PDR Youth Deer Hunt – Clark

facebook.com

605-233-0331
Annual fall event. A real South Dakota hunting experience for physically-challenged, including wheelchair enabled adolescents ages 12-18. Free.

Sioux Wheelers – Sioux Falls

siouxwheelers.com

605-351-5573
Wheelchair basketball for children, youth, and adults of all abilities. Participation is not limited to those who use a wheelchair. 

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation- Summer Developmental Track Meets

siouxfalls.org
605-367-8222 

South Dakota Dept of Games, Fish and Park – Statewide

gfp.sd.gov
605-773-3391
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

sosd.org
 1-800-585-2114
Aberdeen, Brookings, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton.

Skiing and Snowboarding – Great Bear

greatbearpark.com
605-367-4309
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. 

Soccer Camp – Sioux Falls

dakotaalliancesoccer.com
605-332-5911
Dakota Alliance Soccer Club.

Special Olympics United – Wolf Pack Team

unitedwolfpack.org
605-261-5716
Teams for participation in Special Olympics South Dakota. 

US National Parks and Federal Recreation Areas

recreation.gov
877-444-6777
Persons with disabilities can get a Free, Lifetime Access Pass to National Parks and Federal Recreation area in the United States. 

Physical Disabilities

Adaptive Adventures.com – Nationwide

adaptiveadventures.org
303-679-2770
Provides progressive outdoor sports opportunities to improve quality of life for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities and their families.

Meeting The Need – Black Hills

meetingtheneed.org
605-484-7566

A unique wheelchair friendly wilderness retreat located on an old tin mining operation in the Black Hills. 


Joy Ranch – Watertown

joyranchofsd.org
(800)-888-1464

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.  

Transition Programs

Independent Living Choices (ILC)

ilcchoices.org
605-362-3550
Free program for students 16-21 with IEPs who plan to live independently, find employment and/or obtain post-secondary education. 

Visual Impairments

SOUTH DAKOTA SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED SUMMER PROGRAMS

The Extended School Year Summer Program brings together students from across South Dakota who are blind and visually impaired for learning and fun.

  • 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 the program in Aberdeen on a tuition basis.
  • Each student’s summer program is coordinated with their IEP or 504 Plan. If your child’s team determines that he/she needs the “Skills of Blindness” to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), the Summer Program offered at the SDSBVI can be considered as an Extended School Year (ESY) program.
  • A student may attend for one week or any combination of one to six weeks.

Summer Program Overview

For more information call  (888) 275.3814 or visit their website sdsbvi.org.

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.

HOW TO SEARCH FOR CAMPS

By Medical Condition/Diagnosis (specific conditions such as brain cancer or general categories like cancer) needymeds.org

By Non-Medical Condition (social, emotional, psychological or educational issues and disabilities. This includes such categories as bereavement, bullying victims, family issues and children whose family has been or is in the Armed Forces). needymeds.org

By Camp Name needymeds.org

By Camp Location needymeds.org

Featured Resource

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Check out our most recent publication, “Understanding School Testing and Test Scores” created to help parents better understand the data included in their child’s evaluation so they can best advocate for their needs.

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