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!!
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!!
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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 :)
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.