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47 Reviews
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December 3, 2013

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December 3, 2013

This truly unique place has benefited my daughter immensely. The energy, ratio, and intelligence of the staff all contribute to successful experiences for these unique and wonderful children. I have immense respect for the work that they do

I am so grateful that Starfish exists for my
daughter. They understand her, embrace her, and give her achievable and meaningful goals.

They understand the need for respite for the parent and communicate with us in a positive and thoughtful way.

Bill S.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 3, 2013

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November 3, 2013

My son has benefited greatly from two summers at overnight camp with Camp Starfish. His behavior gets better and we have a common language we can use to talk about his challenges. Great place!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 25, 2013

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October 25, 2013

Camp Starfish was phenomenal in putting my mind at ease. I sent both my boys with Autism for the first time to their camp and they could not have done more to accommodate me and reassure me how well both my boys were doing. They both came home happy and confident and having succeeded in accomplishing goals we had established for them. It was an amazing camp experience and they both can't wait to go back next year. I hope to actually try to enjoy my respite side of it next year.
Words can't express my gratitude for all the staff did to provide a safe, and nurturing environment that both my boys also thrived in. I would recommend this camp to all my friends and anyone who will give me their ear. Starfish cares about our children like they are their own.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 24, 2013

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October 24, 2013

I have two children with special needs. Both attended Camp Starfish and came home happier and more confident individuals. They both loved the structure provided but also the positive nurturing envirornment that gives the kids much support. They came home singing the camp songs and talking about all the fun activities they did. Most importantly, they were in a safe place so that when issues did come up for my older daughter especially, the staff could handle it and help her work through it. They can't wait to go back. My older daughter wants to go longer next summer!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide more opportunity for year round activity

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 23, 2013

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October 23, 2013

As a parent, I cannot say enough about the positive experience my daughter has had for 2 years. The staff is terrific, supportive and patient with the children. The children are able to make positive social connections and gain self esteem! My daughter can't wait to return next summer

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 22, 2013

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October 22, 2013

Camp Starfish has been a bright light in my son's life! The staff is fun, caring and well equipped to deal with complex needs of exceptional children. He has learned more about himself every year and comes home proud of what he accomplished at camp. More importantly, he has made lasting connections with other campers and staff .

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 22, 2013

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October 22, 2013

This camp gives children an amazing opportunity to grow and develop within a supportive and loving structure. Children flourish during their weeks at camp while giving families the chance to regroup and recharge. Success for special needs children is not easy, but at camp it is!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish they had a more developed program for lord campers/teens.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 22, 2013

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October 22, 2013

I write of Camp Starfish from several perspectives: as an elementary school nurse who works with EC-grade 5 students who present with multiple social, behavioral and learning challenges; as a camp nurse who has spent many summers with campers and staff at a wilderness canoe camp in VT , who got to work at Camp Starfish for the first time this past summer; and most importantly as the parent of a 14 year old boy who has high functioning autism and global language processing delays, who was welcomed into the Starfish Community this past summer. Camp Starfish staff are some of the most dedicated and passionate young people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Students and professionals who practice in the fields of Special Education, Psychology, and Social Work come from all over the United States, and as far away as England and Australia, to work at Starfish each summer. They provide 1:1 supervision 24 hours/day, continuously modeling appropriate behavior and explicitly teaching social skills. Unlike many children with educational and behavioral challenges who require SPED placements during the school year, there is NO back-sliding over the summer for campers at Starfish. In fact, for many campers, the theraputic interventions are more intensive and more focused on social skills at Camp Starfish, than at any other time during their year. And yet - Camp Starfish looks, sounds, and feels just like ANY other camp in New England - singing, campfires, swimming lessons, hikes, talent shows, canoeing, arts and crafts, daily routines,and annual traditions.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Develop more programming that help kids express themselves and develop executive functioning and planning skills: drama, skits, role-playing; Arts and Crafts projects that introduces new media or skills such as painting, sculpting, weaving, etc.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 22, 2013

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October 22, 2013

What started out as a need to do a college internship for the summer turned into something life changing. I knew when I first found out about Camp Starfish that is was somewhere I HAD to work/intern for the summer. You see, I had already lined up a position in my hometown. Then I got the email. I immediately went out to buy a map to figure out where I was going to be spending my summer. Mind you, I had not even applied for a position yet. But I knew It was meant to be. I applied immediately and then the waiting game began. I went through the interview process and when I was offered a position as a counselor, I couldn't believe it. I impatiently worked my way through the rest of the semester. I knew I was excited but I had no idea the summer of 2006 would be one of the hardest things I've ever done but also one of the most rewarding. You see the children that come to Camp Starfish all have one thing in common, they either have not or will not excel in a normal camp setting. As someone who had spent many summers at camp as a child, I knew what a big part camp played in my childhood. And I wanted the same for these very special children. I won't label these children, as we never did at camp either. They lived with labels every day which made them different in their every day lives. At camp they were just like every one else. Obviously, they all had their differences and own needs but they were all there for one reason. To have one of the best summers of their lives, which they would never forget. I heard stories from children that I will never forget. Things that they went through on a daily basis at home. Whether it was their first summer or sixth, it was the one place they knew they would be safe, loved and fed. I could go on and on about these incredible kids but I will tell you about one that assured me I was making a difference. This camper, whom I will call Lucy. From day one, I knew Lucy was not someone who was just going to open up and let us into her world. She had a very hard exterior and I was almost assured her home life was not much different. For almost the entire session, I thought for sure I was not one of Lucy's favorite people. It had been a difficult session and she was one of the only campers left in our bunk at the end of session. I was incredibly proud of her for making it the whole session considering everything else that was going on around her. She had called me every name under the sun and threatened me repeatedly. I knew I wasn't going to be everyone's favorite counselor and I had accepted that with Lucy, it just wasn't going to happen. One of the last days of her session she gave me a beaded necklace she had made. I couldn't believe it. I made one for her as well. And then the last day of camp came, we were just finishing up and all the campers were beginning to leave. One of the campers had left something behind and as I boarded the bus to return it, I saw Lucy crying. I asked her why and she said that she was going to miss camp. I quickly got off the bus so she would not see me start crying as well. I thought for sure that nothing I had said or done had made a difference. Boy was I wrong. I still have that necklace hanging in my car, seven years later, right next to my brother's dog tag, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. He is my hero and she will always be the camper that taught me, even though it may not be obvious, I made a difference. I have a starfish tattoo and people are always asking me, "Why a starfish?" I am honored to tell them the story of the summer that changed my life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More funding, so they are able to serve more children and give them and their families the ability to have a life changing summer!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

October 22, 2013

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October 22, 2013

In 2013 my adolescent-aged daughter attended Camp Starfish for a two week overnight session. The experience far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. The staff were proactive, knowledgeable, and extremely professional and well-organized. I was impressed by the thoroughness of preparation in anticipation of my child's session. Well before arrival, we had completed interviews, had a chance to visit, and the staff took time to speak with me about my child's needs and my concerns. My child has significant mental health and behavioral issues. Although we had tried camps before, we had never had a successful experience. I mostly remember panicked phone calls telling me to come pick up my child, and the embarrassment of trying to explain to staff why my kid was like she was or doing whatever it was she did... Camp Starfish is different. Camp Starfish "gets" kids like my kid. Camp Starfish genuinely welcomes families like my family. Their understanding, sensitivity, and competence ensured that my child had a positive camp experience. Some of the other children and families I met at Camp Starfish had needs very different from my own child's, but the staff were just as skilled at getting these kids engaged with the fun roster of activities.
My family got a well-needed break and felt reassured that my child was in good hands for the time she was away.
Most importantly, my child had FUN! It was a therapeutic camp that felt much more like just regular "camp". There is an incredibly calm and positive spirit about Camp Starfish. I recommend it without hesitation for any family searching for a great summer camp that can handle a range of special needs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get the word out so that more families like mine are aware of this resource.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Paint the interior of a cabin, help clean up camp prior to opening in June, recruit volunteers for Work Days or help assemble newsletters