Many summer camps and programs are going virtual this year. RAD (Rising Above Disabilities), Southern California’s largest camp for adults and children with developmental disabilities is hosting its first-ever fully remote summer program. In order to keep campers and counselors safe, RAD Camp is transforming their in-person curriculum to a totally online format so all attendees, ages 4 to 60 plus, can participate virtually.

The weeklong summer session goes well above and beyond usual Zoom meetings as it will incorporate significant all-day 1:1 counselor interaction, team bonding opportunities, and educational activities, as well as nightly entertainment for everyone. RAD Camp’s virtual summer session is filled with a vibrant mix of pre-recorded and live content to make for an exciting experience. 

Before the summer session kickoff, all pre-registered campers will receive their very own RAD Box , which is a fully instructional support package created by two highly-trained special education teachers with easy-to-follow instructions, a guide book on navigating the box and online training, themed materials, a camp shirt and all supplies necessary to complete each activity (crayons, paper, stickers, and science supplies, etc.) for each day of camp they join.

The camp runs from Mon., Jun. 29 to Sat., Jul. 4, 2020 from 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. PDT, Monday through Friday; Sunday will feature the closing ceremonies at 9 a.m. PT.

Crafted with the expert guidance and input from various top special needs experts, next week’s program will include a variety of pre-recorded and live activities, including but not limited to:

  • Adapted PE Exercise
  • Arts & Crafts, Chalk Activities
  • Baking/Cooking Demonstrations
  • Cheerleading
  • Costume Design Class, Hair & Makeup Tutorials
  • Games
  • Health Education
  • Journaling
  • Music, Live Performances/Talent Show, Dance Lessons/Dance Parties, Cheerleading, Drama
  • Pillow Fort Building at Home
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Science Experiments
  • Spirit – Meditation, Yoga, Affirmations, Stretching 
  • Team Building
  • Waterfalls – RAD’s very own version of nightly summer campfire gatherings

Campers and counselors will also receive daily greetings from a variety of surprise celebrity guests.

In light of the current economic situation family finances may be tight. This year’s RAD Camp access will be possible for $100 per camper, including admission to all online activities as well as the supply and thank you boxes. For those who pre-registered who were unable to afford the tuition, RAD Camp will offer access at no charge as a result of outside fundraising efforts. All content will be recorded and made available to each attendee once camp has wrapped in the event anyone wants to take an element at their own pace or redo their favorite activity at a later date. 

While main registration is now closed, RAD Camp is still offering “Friends of RAD” registration – which is open to the public and available to all ages and abilities! That said, and for only $10, anyone can still sign up to get access to RAD’s online library of content and live events (this does not, however, include the camper/volunteer 1:1 experience, or any of the RAD supply boxes, etc.) by visiting between now and August 1.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

All photos courtesy of RAD Camp


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