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

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 Friendly Programs for Summer

ADDitude:  Camp & School Directory for ADHD/LD Students


LifeScape – Rapid City
Power Reading and Spelling, Extreme Speech, Social Skills


LifeScape – Sioux Falls
Handwriting, Let’s Talk with AAC, Helping Hands, Power Mobility, Social Skills, Family Fun Fitness Camp


Music Therapy Services – Sioux Falls
Notable Start Developmental Music Program, Teen Tones Peer Group Band

Cross Disability

Adaptive Aquatics – Lifescape – Sioux Falls
Year around programming for toddlers through age 21. 

Adaptive Aquatics – Sanford Wellness Center – Sioux Falls

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

Very Special – Nationwide

Brookings Area Camp Adventure

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

Children’s Therapy Services – Rapid City
Handwriting Camps, Reading Groups, Speech Groups (or individual), Autism Groups, Aquatic Therapy, and additional activities. 

Lifescape – Rapid City
Power Reading  and Spelling, Extreme Speech, and Social Skills. 

LifeScape – Sioux Falls
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)
Childcare, after school, summer and respite programming for ages 3-21.

Music Therapy Services – Sioux Falls
Notable Start Developmental Music Program, Teen Tones Peer Group Band

Our Camp, Inc. – Glendo and Story, Wyoming
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 – Minnesota)

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 – Nationwide

My Summer – Nationwide

Summer – Nationwide

Camp High Hopes – Sioux City

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


Trips Inc. Special Adventures – Nationwide

Equine Therapy

Eagles Ride Equine Center – Piedmont
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy


Horse Power (formerly Handi-Riders) -Sioux Falls


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


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

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


SPURS Therapeutic Riding Center – Aberdeen

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


STARS-Special Training & Riding Skills – Brookings
Facebook Page:
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

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


Camp Odayin – Stillwater, Minnesota
Day, residential and family camps for children with heart disease. 


Diabetes – Nationwide



Kamp for Kids – Family Diabetes Camp

For children with diabetes.


NeedyMeds Camps
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
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


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


Adaptive Aquatics – Sanford Wellness Center – Sioux Falls

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

Dakota Spirit Sparkers – Sioux Falls

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

Just Jymnastics – Rapid City
Offers traditional gymnastics classes and classes for students with different physical or cognitive abilities or emotional needs. 

Joy Ranch

(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
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)


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

PDR Youth Deer Hunt – Clark

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

Sioux Wheelers – Sioux Falls

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

South Dakota Dept of Games, Fish and Park – Statewide
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
Aberdeen, Brookings, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton.

Skiing and Snowboarding – Great Bear
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
Dakota Alliance Soccer Club.

Special Olympics United – Wolf Pack Team
Teams for participation in Special Olympics South Dakota. 

US National Parks and Federal Recreation Areas
Persons with disabilities can get a Free, Lifetime Access Pass to National Parks and Federal Recreation area in the United States. 

Physical Disabilities

Adaptive – Nationwide
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

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

Joy Ranch – Watertown

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

Visual Impairments


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


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.


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

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).

By Camp Name

By Camp Location

Featured Resource

Graphical user interface


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.

Skip to content