Summer Camps at Center Ridge Outpost
Camp session dates are listed on the camper application. To view this year's camp dates, click "Click Here to Apply To camp" below
As a boy, Dr. Yeager was very involved in summers camps. He has always felt that autistic kids and adults should be able to go to camp. So he created and held the first Kamp Kaleidoscope in 2001. The intent is an inclusive summer camp program for campers ages 7 to 17. Its purpose is to meet the summer program needs of children with ASD who continue to not be accepted to other camps due to their diagnosis, their behaviors, or space not being available. As many of our campers aged out of this program, Dr. Yeager saw the continued need for summer programs for autistic adults. In response to this need he created Camp Walapei. This program is for autistic adults ages 18 and older. For the 2019 summer camp season it was decided to change these two names into using just the Center Ridge Outpost Summer Camp moniker as the Universal name for all of our summer programs.
The basis for the camp is steeped deep in the concept of socialization with neuro-typical peers. The opportunity to develop these skills is found at the center of all activities conducted during the camps. Though labor intensive, the camp is the hottest event within the autism community in Mississippi and interest from volunteers and college campuses continue to grow. In past years, the counselor staff has included volunteers from 6 different countries and students from 8 different colleges and universities. Camp staff includes full time members who are autism specialists. Campers have an assigned counselor who is under the guidance of a lead counselor trained in the “Kamp Kaleidoscope Method” which Dr. Yeager developed.
The summer camp format includes sessions that are designed with some providing one-on-one supervision and others with campers working in small groups of 3 to 4 with a counselor.
Summer Camp Requirements for Attendance
- Campers must meet age requirement for the camp they attend (7-17 for some weeks, 18+ for others)
- Campers with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, or a Related Developmental Disability are given acceptance priority. Campers with all types of disabilities or non-disabled campers are welcome to attend!
- Camp involves a great deal of walking, including trails and hills. This should be considered when applying.
- Campers are encouraged to participate in the daily activities and programs at camp. A camper can opt out of an activity if necessary.
Things To Remember About Summer Camp Schedules
- Center Ridge Outpost holds 5 weeks of camp. Three of those weeks are for ages 7 to 17 and two are for ages 18 and older. There is no maximum age.
- All camps begin on Monday with an arrival time between 10 AM and Noon.
- All camps end on Friday with a program that is presented at 3 PM. We encourage all families to stay and enjoy the program.
- Short sessions (3 days) are as follows:
- Monday - Wednesday: Campers should arrive on Monday between 10AM and Noon. Campers should be picked up on Wednesday between 10AM and Noon.
- Wednesday - Friday: Campers should arrive on Wednesday between 1PM and 3PM. Camp ends on Friday with a program that is presented at 3PM. We encourage all families to stay and enjoy the program.
Cost To Attend Our Summer Camp Programs
One Session (2 Nights, 3 Days) - $300
One Week (4 Nights, 5 Days) - $600
A deposit of $100 per session (or $200 per week) is required in order to reserve your camper's spot. Your camper is not guaranteed a spot until the deposit is paid.
Running a summer camp for 5 weeks in the summer is very expensive! The actual cost (that is, what it costs us, not you!) for a week-long stay at one of our summer camp programs is much more than what we charge. We hold many fundraisers in the Fall, Winter, and Spring in order to raise money to keep our summer camp programs costs as low as possible.
The national average for the cost of a week stay at a specialty camp as of 2017 was $1200. We are proud that the fees for attending our summer camp programs are only half of that.
Volunteer for our Summer Camp Programs
Our summer camp programs would not be possible without our volunteers. It is truly thanks to these gracious people that these programs are possible at all.
TEAAM Volunteers are trained by experienced individuals that understand what it takes to support individuals with autism in various settings under many circumstances. All volunteers must complete a training program developed by Dr. Mark H. Yeager and Dr. Suzie Lassiter.
Requirements of Summer Camp Volunteers:
- Must be atleast 16 years of age
- Is PATIENT, enthusiastic, and reliable
- Enjoys working with kids
- Has ability to work with others and follow directions
- Participate in all areas of the event that you are selected to attend, and encourage camper(s) to participate
- Supervise camper(s)
- Identify and meet the needs of camper(s) including: assisting with bathing, eating, and dressing; insuring medications are taken at scheduled times; etc.
- Keeping track of camper(s) belongings
- Model cleanliness, punctuality, manners and appropriate language
Fundraising For A Camper
Want to raise money for a camper to attend camp? Whether you're a parent, family member, or friend, we offer a t-shirt fundraising program to help campers get to camp.
Click Here To Go To Our Camp Fundraising Page
Camper Waiver - Must be completed and returned upon attendance confirmation
Volunteer Waiver - Must be completed and returned upon attendance confirmation.
Medication Sheet - To be completed if medications have changed prior to attending camp.
Packing List - What to bring and what not to bring.
Please note that while the rest of a camper's camp fees are refundable should your camper be unable to attend camp, the deposit to reserve a camp spot is non-refundable.
We typically have waiting lists for most of the sessions of our summer camp programs. When a camper reserves a spot for camp, but then does not attend, this generally means that a camper who would have loved to come (and now could have) will not get to attend camp and we will instead have an empty spot for that session. Requiring non-refundable deposits helps us ensure that all camp spots are filled by campers who will attend camp.