Registration for 2021 Summer Camp programs is now OPEN! Click here for the latest.
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Special Needs Camps 2021

We really missed everyone last summer, so to say we’re excited to see many of our amazing campers again this year is a bit of an understatement. We anticipate the NYS DOH COVID-19 guidelines we will be required to follow this summer will be released in early May, so we are still in somewhat of a holding pattern for now. What we do know is that we will be operating at limited capacity, but we will be operating this summer! We are devoting the first three weeks of our Summer 2021 season exclusively to our Special Needs programs to further reduce the risk of potential transmission of Covid-19.  While our year-round staff is fully vaccinated and we have amassed quite the collection of masks, we simply do not yet know what will be required by NYS DOH for our summer staff and campers. As soon as we receive the guidelines, we will let you know.

As a parent, guardian, social/case worker, advocate, or house manager of one of our special needs campers, we think you’ll agree with us that making sure they are well cared for is of utmost importance (even when there isn’t a pandemic.) If the possibility of being required to wear a mask or being vaccinated is a little too daunting for your camper in 2021, we will also be offering opportunities for group homes and families to come on retreat in June and August, as well as this autumn. This might be a great alternative to consider (we’ll be releasing details on these opportunities soon.)

Out of our desire to provide an unparalleled camping program for persons with special needs we made the transition several years ago to an application process rather than allowing direct registration. While we would love to accept everyone who applies, we recognize our limitations—the volunteer deans of each session of camp have years of experience of working with individuals with special needs, however most of our other camp staff tend to be college-age and have less specialized experience in this field. The application process helps us better determine camper eligibility and placement. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in making our camp even better!

Download the application for the 2021 Sessions of Special Needs Camps at Sky Lake. Please read through the application carefully. Once it is complete, you may either mail a physical copy directly to Sky Lake, or scan it and email it to: If there have been any major changes to the applicant’s ISP (Individualized Service Plan), IEP (Individualized Educational Program), or IPOP (Individual Protective Oversight Plan since Summer 2019, please mail or email those changes with the application. Otherwise, we will be in touch if we need any additional information on the camper this year.


There are a few changes for Summer 2021 that we want you to be aware of:

  • Our placement process will be done on a weekly basis (rather than monthly.) Applications will be reviewed on Wednesdays until all spots are filled. Applications received after 9:00am on a Wednesday will be held for the following week. Decisions will be mailed on Thursdays. If placed, a $75 deposit will be required within 21 days of the decision being sent. Remember that the application process itself is free;
  • Our special needs sessions will begin on Monday mornings this summer. Campers will be assigned a designated check-in time between 10:00am and Noon;
  • Once check-in is complete, outside visitors will not be allowed unless arrangements have been made at least one week prior. Such visitors will be required to wear masks which fully cover their mouth and nose at all times and adhere to safe social distancing protocols.
  • We have expanded our cancellation and refund policy for Summer 2021:
    • A full refund will be given in case of documented medical concern or due to a death in the family that prohibits attendance. More than three (3) weeks before the camp session, partial refunds (less the $75.00 deposit/processing fee) will be offered. Full balances are due for any cancellation within three (3) weeks of the start of the session without documented reasons mentioned above. There is no refund once camp starts. There is no fee adjustment if a camper arrives late or leaves early.  If you need to cancel for reasons directly related to COVID-19 (such as the need to quarantine) you have until the completion of check-in for your session to do so to receive a full refund or to transfer your payment to another session. Pro-rated refunds will be given in the event that a camper needs to leave camp for COVID-19 exposure.

Please note that spaces are even more limited this year, so apply soon! And keep in mind that campers do not need to be United Methodist to attend Sky Lake—we welcome special needs campers from diverse faith traditions each summer.

Summer 2021 at Sky Lake Special Needs Programs