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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Camp Starfish Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camp Fire, Camps, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Sports, Youth Development

Mission:

Camp Starfish fosters the success and growth of children with emotional, behavioral and learning problems by providing individualized attention as part of structured, nurturing and fun group programs.

Results: Campers show improvement in taking increased responsibility for their own actions, demonstrating more positive attitude, displaying greater eagerness to engage in new activities and demonstrating increased self-esteem and greater confidence in their own ability to succeed.

Target demographics: The largest numbers of children attending Camp Starfish come from the Greater Boston area. They lead troubled, difficult lives. In recent years, there has been an explosion in the numbers of youngsters diagnosed with debilitating psychological and learni

Programs:

The level of support and structure afforded by the consistent and focused attention given to every one of our children at any time accounts in large measure for the outstanding successes our campers have achieved during the past thirteen summers.  During this time, more than 2,000 youngsters have benefited from the compassionate and caring environment that is the hallmark of Camp Starfish. 

Summer Programs include: Day Camp, Pioneers & Navigators (resident camp), Older Camper Programs, Teen adventure camp (Beachcombers), leadership development programs (l.e.a.d.e.r.s. and STAR Corps), and young adult mentorship programs (DCA and Crew), as well as staff training and development. Weekenders Respite programs are available during the school year.

Community Stories

199 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Suzanne47

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp starfish was a life saver for our family. Our daughter had many social, emotional issues and had a really hard time coping. Camp starfish was the only place she felt accepted and centered. The three weeks she spent every summer there was a wonderful retreat for her and for our whole family. She came back happy and had the coping tools to be successful at home. Eventually we adopted our son who had experienced serious trauma in his previous life. He thrived at camp starfish and was so happy there. The staff never flinched with his behaviors. Everyone treated my kids with kindness and caring thoughtfulness. The communication flow back home was amazing. I consider Camp Starfish our family’s saving grace!!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter struggled with PTSD, anxiety and social issues. She spent 4 summers at camp starfish. She blossomed under the guidance of the wonderful caring and patient staff. She so looked forward to her three weeks there and we looked forward to the respite and the changed child we would get back. Our foster son spent two summers there he had a wonderful positive experience finding acceptance and understanding for his difficulties and thrived. I don't think we would have survived our parenting challenges without the promise of the children attending camp starfish!!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I vividly remember my previous camp experience as part of the leaders program in 2016, I felt like I was turning into a new version of myself because I have Developed so many crucial independent living skills for instance
1. My ability to use coping skills to deal with complicated thoughts,situations and emotions
2. Increased ability to self advocate for my needs and wants
3. I made a lot of meaningful friendships with the younger day campers as a role model as a day camp assistant and the younger girls from my bunk in star village
camp starfish completely changed my life and I now I feel extremely motivated and inspired to eventually become a staff member or a camp chef because I have a culinary assistant work position school Ive had since April of 2016 and I want to make a difference for a camper and their family members as a member of the staff population at camp starfish

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is a one of kind summer camp. Serving children and teens with a wide range of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning needs, Starfish empowers its campers (and staff!) to be the most successful versions of themselves. Each camper is provided with 1:1 support by a talented and dedicated staff team capable of seeing and developing the amazing personalities and skills held by every Starfish child. Its "the hardest job you'll ever love" and after one, two, three... seven, eight, nine years later it'll still be hard, but watching the campers grow and sharing their success with their families is exactly why so many of our kids and staff come back to Starfish each summer.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a truly amazing place that allows children to be the very best versions of themselves. Here they are supported as they try new things away from home, while also working on social and coping skills. I highly recommend Camp Starfish, there is no other place like it!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is the first camp I recommend to the families I work with. They provide amazing services for children and families and are so responsive to the needs of the families they serve.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Six years ago, I was just another college student looking for some purpose and inspiration. I had never worked at a summer camp before, but I am thankful every day that I applied and accepted. I saw that ordinary people can do extradoinary things with a lot of care, structure, and engagement. My life was changed. Everyone has those moments of clarity where things are going to change. Mine changed for the better when I was there. I made friends that were my coworkers, roommates, confidants, and cheerleaders all in one. They know a part of me that only a special few will truly understand. I met supervisors that led me down the right paths by supporting me and turned into mentors for life. I was privileged to be able to enter several children's lives and some of them have a place in my heart forever. Camp Starfish is not just a camp. It is a place to learn, grow and have fun (especially when tutus are involved). The values, tools, and strategies are so ingrained into my brain that is is second nature and part of my philosophy as a School Social Worker. I would recommend Camp Starfish for anyone that is looking for opportunity for growth and seeing real life superheroes at work.

Laura D.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is genuinely a place where miracles happen. I worked there for a summer and the kids who came to Camp Starfish left having gone through a positive change that I have never seen replicated in any program since. I am now a school psychologist and I am constantly reminding myself of the ways that Camp Starfish built confidence, independence, and self regulation in its campers. If every school was able to provide the level of support and care that Camp Starfish provides, out world would be a better place. The best people I've ever met work here and they care about every camper down to the core of who they are. I would recommend this Camp to any and everyone who feels like they've tried everything with their child but nothing seems to help. Trust me...Camp Starfish will help. It's a miracle Camp based on research based practices and a whole lot of love.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We’ve heard there’s a mermaid in the lake, a little red wagon which YOU can’t ride in, and a 1:1 camper to counselor ratio. Honestly, the wagon part is pretty cool too. We are glad to have been part of this brilliant, majestic, imagination-filled wonderland since 2006. Camp Starfish is a memory-making and miracle-making experience for all: campers, counselors, and families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The most amazing place I have ever worked (as a counselor). One summer changed my life in the way Camp Starfish changes the lives of it's Campers! You wont regret sending your child here, and you wont regret volunteering your time, or donating your money! There are not enough words to describe the positive impact this camp will have in helping your child with their individual needs.
This is a safe, encouraging, fun, and positive environment for kids to grow and succeed and learn to have confidence in themselves.
Camp Starfish is a place I'll forever hold a place in my heart!

Kerri A.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is now Oct 31 and my grandson has still not stopped talking about his camp ecperience at Starfish last summer. My Dad ran an overnight camp kn NH so I know a great camp when I see it. Starfis was above and beyond our hopes and dreams. Such a caring, fun, and incredibly hard working, well-organized camp staff and program. I never could have believed my grandson could thrive in an overnight camp. We cannot wait fof next summer, when we hope he can attend one of the longer camp sessions. Love Camp Starfish!

Elisabeth C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are many moments in life that can go by unnoticed. Where the effects are so slight that they remain unseen. Where you are left wondering if you made the right decision, or if you should have done something differently. The impact of Camp Starfish on our daughter is not one of those moments. The impact was immediate, clear and lasting. Her confidence, her understanding of herself and of others, her friendships all built at Camp Starfish this year have only strengthened. To say that Camp Starfish is a life changing experience is perhaps to put it too mildly.
We are deeply thankful and grateful for the amazing dedication of the staff and counselors who work with our children. We are awed and inspired by the tenacity it takes to build and develop such a program and moreover to expand and improve it year after year. Camp Starfish is an amazing nonprofit and we have recommended it to others again and again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish saved our lives. It did more than just provide fun 24 hours a day. I had a sense of peace knowing that she was going to a camp that would understand her needs; she didn't do very well in other camps. And it gave me time to decompress. I needed that break as an adult as much as she needed camp. She had 1-to-1 support at Starfish. She was so happy to swim, to make things in arts and crafts, to be an active member in a group, etc.

My daughter found it very difficult to make friends at school, but she made friends at Camp Starfish and looked forward to seeing the kids and counselors the following summer. She learned social skills that helped her at school and outside of school.

She remembers the Starfish rules: Try your best; you don't have to be the best. Try something new. Treat others they way you want to be treated. She applies those rules to her life as a young adult.

We both loved Camp Starfish and the caring, supportive staff.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked at Starfish for two years and absolutely loved it! The camp cares so much about each and every camper, and the staff are specially trained to help each camper with their own needs. The 1:1 ratio allows campers to get the positive attention they need, so they can enjoy themselves and be successful at camp. There are so many different activities and experiences for campers that they can easily find a way to engage with camp, the counselors, and even build social connections with other campers.

Starfish has changed so many lives, both campers and counselors, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to give a child a positive, fun camp experience that they honestly would not be able to have at other places.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has multiple mental health issues and has struggled at camps in the past. The individualized and specialized attention he received at Camp Starfish helped him to be successful.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My son has been to camp starfish twice and had the best time ever. If anyone asks him his favorite place to go he says "What do you think ? Camp starfish of course ". It is the best camp and all of the workers there are GREAT, they do a wonderful job and deserve lots of praise. Hope to see you all again next year. Your the best
Susan Chapman
Jonathan's Mom

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Not s sprawling camp. More compact which is good especially when moving special needs campers from one activity to another. Still has a "woodsy" feel to it without too many hills to converse. Nice waterfront. Attentive and caring staff. Meals served family style so campers eat with a group at the table and have some control over what and how much they eat. Interacting with the same group each meal also helps to build bonds. Variety of daily activities offered as well as typical evening camp activities like camp fires, songs, and skits.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 13 year old daughter attended a two-week session at Camp Starfish this year for the first time. We had many reservations about sending her for this camp, but it was the best thing we could have done for her. With the anxiety and social/emotional issues that she deals with, it was such an amazing accomplishment and experience for her.
As her parent, I was so overwhelmed on pick-up day to see all of the amazing friends she had made, as well as the relationships that she had made with her counselors. They all knew her by name, and one counselor even got choked up when she said good-bye. She learned how to be positive, deal with her emotions, gained responsibility, and learned that she is a strong young lady that can make it on her own.
We are so proud of her and so thankful to Camp Starfish for giving her such an amazing and positive experience! Looking forward to next year already!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked at Camp Starfish during the summer of 2016 as a group counselor and it was the greatest summer of my life. Working with the staff and campers was an unbelievable experience for me. Camp Starfish does a great job of allowing kids to get an opportunity to do something they have never done before. My favorite thing about the camp is its structure. They make sure everyone is following all the rules and just as importantly having fun.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The counselors are very high quality. The staff really do what they say they will do; they give each child the attention and encouragement to be successful, and grow more independent. My son who is 14 went to Camp Starfish. He is at an age when the average person his age is doing things very different from what he is able to do. The social, and developmental differences are too big for him have real friendships and activities with average people his age.
He made friends at Camp Starfish, and a special closer friend; this growth has helped him with his social skills now that he is home. When I picked him up, he was very happy about his experience. He looked very confident and comfortable with himself. Before this was not how he looked in social situations. He enjoyed activities he already likes and tried new ones too.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has social disabilities and I was so nervous on sending him to camp. When I called the office to talk with someone they were so helpful and understanding, but also encouraging. I immediately signed him up for a day camp and now 5 years later there hasn't been a summer that he has attended. He loves it. He doesn't feel like an outsider, and he's encouraged to reach goals and the team is more than educated on how to assist him. Every year he grows and the relationship we have with Camp Starfish is invaluable. I couldn't imagine a summer without them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is an amazing experience for both kids and their families.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our son LOVES Camp Starfish! We can't say it loudly enough or enough times how wonderful and flexible the staff is. Our son has gone there for five summers and is always excited to go there starting a countdown long before the session starts and references it multiple times during the year. Leaving him is never hard because the staff gives us a warm welcome and the structure is in place for him to have many successes, make friends and find many happy moments in all the camp areas.

Liz_91

Client Served

Rating: 5

My child finally had a successful day camp experience. We made friends, worked on skills and can't wait to return next year. This was the first camp where I felt comfortable leaving my son. I knew that they were not going to call me to pick him up like other previous summer camps! We love starfish!!

Marie81

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish ! My family would be in a much much different place without it. My son attended for many years and is now a thriving 18 year old. Attending college classes, working as a cook and driving ! These are just a few things that at age 6 we were told he would never never ever do. Working with Camp Starfish gave him a sense of price and accomplishment.. at age 9 or 15 the camp support and activities met his needs at that time. The Camp Staff was available year round for my bazillion questions and offered referrals I would have never found. The Camp Experience shaped my child to become the man he is today.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a psychologist in the Boston area, and I recommend Camp Starfish to families that are raising children with emotional and behavioral struggles that make "typical" camp hard for them. Camp Starfish gives children the opportunity to build social skills and independent living skills in an environment that "meets them where they're at," and also gives families the break they may need from exhausting caregiving during the Summer months. Camp Starfish is a win-win.

1 Brad32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This camp is amazing, I worked here for 3months during the summer and what they do is really awarding. It provides 2 weeks of intense training that gets you ready for the months ahead of different children or different abilities. This is a really rewarding camp and not only are the children learning growing and having fun there so are the staff aswell. I would highly reccomend this camp to anybody to either work there or send their child there for a session. AMAZING CAMP AND AMAZING DIRECTORS

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the best experience ever working for Camp Starfish. The support the counsellors, admin and directors have for one another is second to none. It was amazing to see how much the children thrived at camp. You could see a positive change in their behaviours over such a short time. I'm already planning on coming back next summer to see all the children again and see how much hard work they have put in to their goals.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This past summer was my son's 3rd at CampStarfish. For the last two summers he has asked to return…he loves the consistency of staff and children returning year after year, the engaging activities that pair him with peers and the way that the staff really gets to know him as an individual and supports him where he is at.

He is working towards leadership skills and the staff there support his goal through coaching. He has found mentors and coaches, peers he continues to connect with and a host of other surprises throughout the year….from time to time he will surprise me with a memory of something he tried at camp and he credits his willingness to try new things as something learned at camp.

I am impressed with the level of education and experience of the staff at camp. The counselors are the best I have seen anywhere and I as am excited about my son's camp experience as he is.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish helped my son accept himself and he has flourished since the summer. I can't wait for summer so he can attend the Beachcombers program!

Shannon138

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son had his first experience at Camp Starfish this past summer. He had so much fun that he wanted to stay the ENTIRE summer and hopes to do so next year. Lovely staff, fun activities, and your child is happy... what more can a MOM ask for :)

Nicole172

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son deals with a lot. He is 15, has ADHD, is on the autism spectrum, has severe food allergies and has a tough time with emotional regulation. He has never had the opportunity to go to an overnight camp... until Camp Starfish! This camp is amazing. Not only did they help with the difficulties he deals with, but they worked with us so he could have a safe environment for his meals. This is above and beyond for a family who has dealt with many restrictions for our son due to his allergies. The staff could not have been more understanding, helpful and amazing. From the many activities, the support and even dealing with nighttime "accidents", this was an experience for our son like no other. He met so many wonderful campers, some of which he has kept in touch with! He also still talks about how great the staff was and how much he learned from them. When we attended the last day activities, I had tears in my eyes seeing how my son finally "fit in". He was with wonderful people who "get him". This is a one of kind camp that deserves any recognition that it gets!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter has attended starfish for 4 summers and several of their fall weekenders programs. She talks about camp all the time, it's truly her "happy place". She doesn't feel like she's "different" at camp. The staff and admin are caring and we're very comfortable knowing she's in good hands and in a beautiful lakeside setting. She is encouraged to try activities slightly out of her comfort zone as well as activities that she already loves. I can't say enough about emily, Doug, Deanna, Jamie and everyone we've interacted with.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son had never gone away for a more than a night with anyone but his grandparents. As a child with special needs, even the prospect of sending him to overnight camp was scary for us. But at every turn Camp Starfish was ready to support him and us.

With a 1:1 camper counselor ratio, and so much preparation for both our son and us, we were confident he would have a great two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, he was so proud to show us what he learned, and he wanted to stay at camp longer. He didn't really even miss us.

He came home more independent and mature and returned for another week later in summer, along with a weekend in the fall. Overall, it was a great experience, knowing that he had found a place where he was comfortable, respected and could learn, without the rest of the world judging him. We knew he was safe and understood.

For a kid with special needs that constantly struggles to fit in Starfish was and will continue to be an amazing experience. We plan on having him attend in the future for as much time as is feasible . And as a parent, all I can say is wow, the staff at Starfish is absolutely amazing. I don't know how they provide as much for their campers as they do, and the boundless energy, care and effort are so, so so appreciated and inspiring.

I honestly cannot say enough about Camp Starfish!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son was a first time over night camper with ADHD and anxienty. He went for the lite group during the summer and had a blast! He can be really shy about being silly in front of people and when we picked him up he was dancing and making silly faces all in front of everyone. He can't wait to go back next year. I would recommend Camp starfish to anyone. They really helped him with his anxiety in just those few days.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was 11 when she first joined the Camp Starfish family. I wish I had known about them sooner. It was at camp that she made her very first friends. As a child with ADHD and a mood disorder, school and life was extremely tough but Camp Starfish equipped her with the tools necessary to be successful while in school and in the world outside camp. Camp was and still is a safe place for her. She can share her feelings and frustrations without feeling judged or different. The entire staff is so amazing and supportive. They truly see my daughter for the amazing person that she is. She shines at Camp Starfish because they allow her to be HER.

KD M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

we LOVE Camp Starfish. After 2 poor experiences at another overnight camp, I was concerned about sending my son to yet another overnight camp. I shouldn't have worried at all! My son had the greatest time and is looking forward to going back for the whole summer. He learned so much about himself without realizing it and his school experience is now exponentially better for having gone.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is a safe and fun environment for kids to learn and play. Our daughter starts talking about how excited she is to go back on pick up day!

We feel so lucky to have found an amazing place that lets her shine, and gives us respite knowing she doesn't even miss us!

Client Served

Rating: 4

My child attended Camp Starfish for the second time last summer and the experience is second to none. She suffers from an emotional illness that makes it very hard to enjoy a typical teenaged life. The counselors and staff are very professional and well trained. They know the kiddos inside and out before they even arrive! The one to one ratio is practically unheard of and allows every child to have a successful experience.

My daughter will soon age out of camp but hopes to attend one final year. She has grown from her experiences with Camp Starfish and comes home happy and confident. How I wish that feeling could last all year long !

The only thing that the camp needs to work on is streamlining the application process. The new online process was cumbersome and extremely difficult to navigate. The system was often down or unusable and it took months to complete an application. Otherwise , camp was a blessing and a positive experience for our child. We are grateful to the wonderful counselors who give their all to help each child grow and change for the better. :)

Steff N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish continues to totally exceed my expectations as an employee. The mission behind this nonprofit shows the reason they exist--for the children. The directors, Emily and Doug go above and beyond for the children and families to give them an opportunity to succeed even with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Where other camps may kick these "bad children" out of camp, Camp Starfish provides a safe and fun environment for children to face their fears, step outside of their comfort zone, and be accepted for who they are not their diagnoses. I began my career with Camp Starfish and I could not be happier to continually support Camp Starfish (and of course volunteer my time when I can!).

Cara F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has been attending Camp Starfish since he was 9 years old; he is almost 18 now! Camp Starfish has been many different things to us as a family. It is a true respite for us, a time to heal and refresh; we even had several good night’s of sleep when he was at camp! It has been the one and only place of consistency for our son. It is a place where he has friends, fun, growth, and a positive experience. Starfish has a 1:1 staff for each camper and the staff there understand the magnitude of our kid’s disabilities, where most other places do not. The Starfish staff do an incredible job summer after summer, and they do so with smiles and enthusiasm! We always saw a difference in our son each summer we picked him up. The shine in his eyes after camp and the progress he made each summer truly played a major role his success outside of camp. The memories of Starfish will last our son a lifetime. Starfish has been the one place where he can go each summer and do typical summer activities like boating, swimming, sports, arts, and camping just like typical kids, except Starfish provides him with the structure and supports he needs to succeed. Each summer our son was pushed to grow a little bit more than the summer before and he himself recently said, “Camp is where I feel the safest and have the most fun in my life. I never want to stop going there."

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is the best! My son has been going to Starfish for 7 years and his experiences there have helped to change our life in so many ways. I remember dropping him off the first summer thinking for sure I would get a call soon to come get him because of his challenging behaviors, but I never got the call. After 14 days of camp for him and respite for me, I picked up my son looking happier and brighter than I had ever seen him before. Just recently my son, now 16 years old, did a fundraiser for Starfish by selling his old toys at a yard sale. In his letter to the Administration letting them know what he raised, he wrote, "Camp has been the one place in my life I have always felt safe and had fun. I am learning to give back now, so I hope this helps!"

The administration has a strong knack for hiring and training the best staff to help assist campers with Autism and/or Mental Illness. We call Starfish our Miracle!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish was a life changing experience for my 9 year old son with ADHD and pragmatic semantic language disorder. After years of going to camps- and feeling like an outsider- he found a place where he was valued and accepted unconditionally. I'm not sure how they did it in his 2 weeks away- but since his return- his teachers have remarked about improvements in relationships with friends, confidence, impulse control and work- task completion. He has more confidence and functions more independently at home. He still has challenges of course- but Camp Starfish really seemed to help him. He can't wait to go back next year. Fantastic place- fantastic people. Would strongly recommend to any parent whose child his similar challenges.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter, who has gone to this camp two summers had a difficult time with being socially appropriate. This camp followed the positive reinforcements that I was using at home and that she was using in school to help her adapt in socially difficult situations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter went to camp Star Fish for the first time this past summer.it was a very positive experience for her.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands down the best summer of my life. I felt part of a family here not a staff team but a group of people that truly care about you and look out for you. I had one of the best experiences even though it was one of the hardest. I loved being with these kids they changed my life, taught me lessons that school could never teach me . I cannot express how great the work that camp starfish does , I saw children's behavior change in a matter of days and I saw children forget about the outside world and have fun and make friends. It's truly a heart warming place.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish was the best experience my child has ever had. She came back home from Camp Starfish more confident and positive. Unfortunately there were many other negative experiences prior to Camp Starfish. My only regret is that I did not find them sooner. The staff were great. They sent updates and pictures that allowed me to share her joy at camp. A year later my child still says things like "At Camp Starfish we try new things and we try and try and never give up". It was an amazing experience!

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

This was my son's first year attending. The staff are friendly, well trained and very accommodating.
He had a great time and I was comfortable in knowing that he would be well taken care of. We will be back in 2017!!!

Client Served

Rating: 4

My daughter loved her first summer at Camp Starfish. The staff was welcoming and she really looked forward to going every day. They were able to balance nurturing her needs and pushing her to reach her limits.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is a home away from home! The year-round staff (Emily, Doug, and Jamie) are outstanding with behavior management and training their staff to exceed expectations. Working here during the summer was an extremely positive experience, and seeing the ways in which this environment puts smiles on so many kids' faces is heartwarming. This camp more than deserves a top rating for non-profits, and should continue to be recognized for their place in campers' success stories and building of a community.

Haley15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked at camp starfish for my first year this past summer, (2016). The experience I had was one unlike any other! I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. All these wonderful kids I got to meet just needed a little bit of love and attention. Lots of these kids had emotions they couldn't explain and we were there to help them through that. Camp starfish was a place they could feel accepted and call home. Camp was the highlight of their summers for most. The schedule and curriculum is purposely structured to set them up for success! It is truly a place for them to learn, grow, and have fun. There were kids who had been coming back to camp for their 8th year! That says something right there. I would recommend camp starfish to anyone.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is amazing. The staff is so friendly and welcoming. My son (age 13) had a great experience there). We will definitely be coming back this summer.

Jen_72

Client Served

Rating: 5

To say that Camp Starfish is amazing is an understatement. Having a child like mine and being able to send her to do things and not worry used to be a dream. Once Camp Starfish came into our lives, that dream became a reality. I can send my daughter somewhere that she has SO MUCH FUN where she feels good about herself and what she can do and I get to rest easy because I know that staff has all the tools needed to help her overcome any challenge she may face. The staff, beautiful location and the confidence my daughter always comes home with is more than I could've ever hoped for in this life. To say I'm grateful could not be more understated. My family is blessed to have become part of the community at Camp Starfish.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It has been a few years since my daughter went to Camp Starfish but the experience she and I came away with still lasts. Growing up in a small town with few kids her age, she found it difficult to fit in socially ALWAYS. Though she was hesitant to go away to an overnight camp (her 1st) she agreed to go. 2 weeks for her was amazing. She was so happy to meet, get along and be socially accepted with a group of girls her age. The friendships she made showed her that she IS like everyone else and CAN be happy as herself amongst peers. For me, the safe structured environment along with the incredible, giving kind counselors was too good to be true. My daughters' happiness and ear to ear smile was all worth the initial anxiety. May other families benefit from from this camp for years to come.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Fish REALLY GETs it. For kids with ADHD/ADD or on the Autistic spectrum- this is place where they can really truly be themselves to actually, simply BE HAPPY. It is totally geared towards these children to shine - while within a safe engaging structure that is guaranteed to bring about individual success. My 13y/o ADDer 1st overnight socially engaging experience had put a smile on her face weeks after her time there. She now knows that she actually can be happy living with ADD and that she actually is a "normal" human being. I am forever indebted to this organization and will sing praises always because they simply brought about a path for my daughter's innate happiness to come through.

Hopper M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This place and the staff was a life-changer for our whole family, our daughter is going back for her 4th year next summer.

Dawn121

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our son has been attending summer camp at Starfish for 4 years now. Every year, he comes home with a greater sense of independence and a bigger set of tools. The Starfish Tools are great for everyday life - I know a lot of adults who could really benefit from them too!!

It's a real summer camp experience, with swimming, boating, crafts, games, songs, friends and lots of fun. It wouldn't have been possible for us in a different setting. Starfish is one of a kind!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We became part of the Starfish family just over 3 years ago. We started with the 5-day 'lite' camp because our son was very apprehensive. He liked it, but was still nervous about going for 14 days the next year. He loved it! This year, he went for 19 days, and now he's planning how he can be a counselor (he's only 11, mind you) as soon as possible. We all love the experiences he's getting - being unplugged and really being present, swimming, canoeing, hiking, how to develop good social relationships, trying new foods, trying new activities. I could go on and on. The staff and directors are so great! The bottom line is that Starfish has been a life-changing experience for us and I would give them 10 stars if I could.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish exceeded my expectations and most importantly my son, Daniel's. Danny can not wait to come back as a return camper next year!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Camp Starfish has been really helpful to a number of families I know. The staff is kind and attentive and the Director really knows what's going on at camp. They are truly focused on the kids and the experiences they have while at camp.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our church (Unitarian Universalists of Wellesley) has for years had a strong relationship with Camp Starfish. As a member of the church, I have had the opportunity to visit the camp approximately ten times. Each time, I have been extremely impressed by how devoted and talented the staff is. They are truly dedicated to improving the lives of all the campers and have a strong one-to-one bond. Moreover, the current staff inherited a camp on a beautiful lakeside location but whose infrastructure had some major issues. Nevertheless, they have worked tirelessly to make major improvements while using the limited funds in an EXTREMELY effective way. If a donor is looking for an organization that will use her/his gift wisely and support an important cause, this is one group to consider seriously.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Starfish is possibly the greatest thing that has happened to our son. He has gone for 3 consecutive years. The staff is outstanding. They have diverse backgrounds, but their level of expertise and warmth is superior. The communication is great. Can't say enough.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best camp ever! The counselors are wonderful. My son has attended the 5 and 14 day sessions and loved it. He was safe and happy.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Watching the good work that Camp Starfish does from afar allows me to appreciate this place even more. Children, young and old, truly grow. Staff, young and old, learn new skills that translate into the workforce. Parents of new campers get the opportunity relax for what is probably the first time in many, many years. Parents of returning campers relish their annual two weeks of respite. Regardless of how you're connected to Starfish, the one thing that is true for everyone is this: Camp Starfish makes life better. If you're reading this and wondering if Starfish is the place for your child, let me help you -- just visit this link: http://campstarfish.org/camps/appsforms.html

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family loves Camp Starfish! Both of our children have attended sessions for the past few summers, and they love it. They come home happy, full of stories and outdoor experiences that they would not typically have due to the city area we live in. The dedicated staff are so positive and really do have your children's best interest in mind. We have noticed that each time our children attend, they come home with more confidence, a bit more independence, and a smile on their faces! Camp starfish allows our children to feel safe and supported in a fun environment, while providing us the much needed break that we, as their their dedicated parents and caretakers, need. When they come home, we are more refreshed and this allows us to provide better care for their individual needs. We cannot say enough about the amount of "good" this camp provides primarily for the kids, but overall, for our family as a whole!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked for this camp for two summers (2013 and 2014). I have never had a job that I loved more than being a counselor for this camp. Camp Starfish truly embodies the ideas of unity and community. Their staff empower campers to feel personal strength, as well as to share their strength with others. It was and continues to be my favorite place in the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked at Camp Starfish this summer (2016) and had the best summer of my life. The staff were so diverse and friendly, and the campers were just a delight to have. 10/10.
Good job everyone!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended camp starfish this summer. I had never been to an overnight camp, and it was fourteen days, and I thought, "would I get homesick?" But the minute me and my parents pulled in a counselor had a microphone and said "please welcome ------ from bunk one!" And everyone cheered for me. I never had the time to feel homesick because for fourteen days, I was focused in activities. Also, I am a picky eater, and I was worried about the food, but if there was something I didn't like, they had a cereal/salad bar and it was delicious! I met friends that I still keep in touch with. I am about to go to a weekend program next weekend and I am psyched! Camp Starfish is amazing, and of course, a shout out to all the staff!

Former staff

Rating: 5

Working at Camp Starfish was by far the best experience I have ever had. I think that everyone at camp, including both campers and staff, learn how to be their best self. I formed such great bonds with the campers and staff and this experience has left a lasting impact on me. Camp Starfish is accepting of everyone and encourages everyone to 'learn, grow, and have fun!' It leaves campers and counselors with memories that will last a lifetime. Some of these memories include gatherings, evening programs, peace games, boating, swimming in the lake, free play, and spending time with everyone in my bunk! I find myself even now, months later, singing camps songs, reciting the starfish keys and tools, and sharing memories with others about my experiences at camp. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH AND THE TOUGH GET GOING...FISH SWIM TOGETHER!