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A Summer Camp That’s Fun and Inclusive

Summer camp is a quintessential summer experience, and for many children, the choices are quite numerous. However, for parents of children with special needs, finding a summer camp that can fully (and safely) welcome their child can be a challenge. And finding a camp that also welcomes adults with special needs is usually impossible.

Enter Camp Laugh-A-Lot, an inclusive day camp for children and adults with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities, and mental health challenges. Arc Human Services, a nonprofit provider of programs and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness across 12 southwestern Pennsylvania counties, has been hosting Camp Laugh-A-Lot since 1999. Camp takes place twice each year; a seven-week summer camp plus a one-week winter camp during the school break. Participants must be at least five years old; there is no upper age limit.

Camp Laugh-A-Lot, which includes a wide variety of structured, supervised activities, invites campers to participate in arts and crafts, music, games, swimming, parties, and field trips. The activities provide fun, socialization, and education to help participants develop and maintain life skills and social skills, which can be lost over the summer when school is out. Campers especially love the outings to museums, the zoo, and other local attractions.

Going to camp is a traditional American experience that provides fun along with valuable opportunities to learn new things and make friends. According to Ben Zyra, “Camp Laugh-A-Lot is an incredible amount of fun but also helps campers build their confidence, social skills, and self-esteem.” Low staff to camper ratios also provide the time and attention required to ensure safety and inclusion for all.

Camp Laugh-A-Lot welcomes about 50 participants each week and for the first time will expand to a second location. The Washington, PA camp takes place at the Vernon C. Neal Sportsplex, an indoor recreation center, and the new camp location will be the Cool Springs Sports Complex in Bethel Park. The 2020 summer camp season begins in late June and ends in early August with a carnival that is open to the entire community.

Register today to attend Camp Laugh-A-Lot
The registration fee covers all activities, swimming, outings, and lunch. Financial assistance is available. To register for Camp Laugh-A-Lot, go to www.archumanservices.org/camp-laughalot for the online link or to download the pdf of our camp registration form.

To contact Ben Zyra, camp director, call (724) 222-6960 ext. 225, or email zyra.ben@archumanservices.org.

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