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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Exceptional Needs Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camps, Sports

Mission: Exceptional Needs Network provides camp for children with special needs. For most families, ENN camp is the “once a year respite” break to recharge and be able to do typical family outings while their special needs child reaps the benefit of attending camp in an environment with his / her peers. Exceptional Needs Network has been providing camps since 2002. ENN has served over 1,000 campers providing one counselor for every camper. Exceptional children. Extraordinary experiences.

Results: Host respite camps for over 17 years, serving over 1,500 children

Target demographics: Families with special needs children in the Tri-Valley region of the San Francisco Bay Area

Direct beneficiaries per year: 120 children with developmental delay

Geographic areas served: The East Bay Area of San Francisco

Programs: The only overnight respite camp program in the East Bay area of San Francisco, serving families of special needs children. - ENN provides two summer sessions and one weekend fall camp at no cost to families - Each camp session accommodates 45 children ages 6 - 22 - Campers swim, participate in group activities and eat healthy meals in the safe environment at Camp Arroyo in Livermore - Camper to Counselor ratio is 1:1 - Counselors are skilled and experienced paid care givers

Community Stories

84 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our experience with ENN involves their Camp Arroyo event with Taylor Family Foundation in Livermore, California. This has been the one overnight camping event that we have had our severely autistic son (17) attend. The organizers and volunteers that work with the kids are amazing. I have not heard of them turning anyone away due to severity of their disability. It’s more likely you will hear “don’t worry, we got this!” and they do. Staff will remind parents/caregivers to use the camp time for yourself. This year was the 3rd time, my son was to this camp. He doesn’t really speak much but still made it clear that we could bugger off once we got him in the parking lot to drop him off. He had an unbelievable time! For days after coming home, he was trying to relive the experience by putting a name tag on his shirt and a loose fitting belt to simulate the rock wall harness (he made it to the top). Due to some extenuating circumstances in our house, this was exactly what the doctor ordered. Thanks ENN and to those that support this charity!

1 Fiona M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started helping with Camp ENN maybe 2 or 3 years ago, and it’s been such a fulfilling experience. I love serving individuals with exceptional needs and love meeting new people along the way. Leadership at camp have the best people running it, they are so selfless and kind! This is the greatest nonprofit I’ve ever come across and I’m so blessed to be part of it!!!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a Paraeducator in PUSD and my students are so greatly served by the amazing staff at ENN.
This residential camp is so vital to our community and the campers they serve.
I see these families come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders and after the most wonderful 3 days they pick up their children and everyone is happy and hugging and some cry happy tears.
ENN gives these amazing families the best gift of time and peace for parents and campers.
I am so blessed to call ENN home.

1 Laura P.8

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been with ENN for 15 years and I have loved every minute of it! I get such joy in helping families get the respite they so need and deserve!

1 Katie Nelson M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a group that is supportive and truly about helping families! They run an amazing summer camp for kids and they have a wealth of advice and suggestions from members of the group. Very thankful for ENN

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think five star is not enough to rate this organization. I heard a lot of great feedback from parents with Special needs who had their kids be part of their camps... Now that my own child had been part of their camp, I can attest how great ENN is! My daughter is under the spectrum, her deficit is communication and transition. SO, if you are a parent you will freak out when your child has to camp and sleep there for 3 nights! Eversince she was born she never slept in a place without her parents.... so imagine the anxieties we had. Their staff was AWESOME from the walk thru, communication to parents, and basically was there every step of the way to make the camp successful for the child. Rayna Blakley and Ashley Sturm did above and beyond by pairing my daughter with a counselor that she's been with during Summer. Being a working parents, we only had time to talk to them after work and Rayna set some time at night to talk.... that is dedication!!!!
Kirsten Sprott who's been responsible for communication ALWAYS on top of every single emails for parents and she even helped me network with other parents...
Overall, most of the non profit org I've known are good, but ENN is exceptional!!!! they are very organized, customer oriented staff, they have the dedication to help and want to really help. So if you ever will work with ENN, you are in good hands!!!! no doubt

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We LOVE ENN and the resources they provide our special needs family. We were so thankful for the camp our son was able to go to this summer. The staff and organizers go above and beyond!

1 Selena S.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We absolutely loved enn!! My son had an amazing time with his counselor and all theactivities. We hope to do it again next year!!.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were so fortunate to discover the Exceptional Needs Network by Taylor Family Foundation. With a challenging ASD child they welcomed him with open arms and he ended up having the time of his life! We have since signed him up again this year (11/2019)!! It's Special Needs "Glamping" at it's finest!! Kudos to the Taylor's for adding a All-Inclusive setting for these wonderful kids and young adults!! We only wish the duration was longer!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ENN provides great support to parents who have kids with special needs.
Parents can ask questions, exchange information and receive notification for special events.. etc.
Parents and our kids both benefit from those important and valuable information from ENN!

1 Kristine L.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ENN provides events that are great for all abilities. We have participated in the 'Lil Pardners Rodeo. It was a fun event for the entire family and very well organized! My son had the best time at Camp ENN last fall! The staff and counselors were so great with accommodating his medical and dietary needs. He was busy the entire time with activities, arts and crafts, music and dancing. He is looking forward to it again this year! I am very thankful for the opportunities that ENN provides to allow my son to have some happy memories for life!

2 Rosemarie_R

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Not only does ENN provide an exceptional camp experience for children with developmental dis abilities, it provides a fantastic camp where teens can volunteer and learn much about the capabilities and joy of differently abled children. Both of my children have volunteered for multiple sessions as activity aides and one is now coming back as adult staff. What started as a volunteer hours commitment is now a summertime must do event. We believe that summer camp can be a transformative experience for all children and that’s exactly what Camp ENN does!❤️

1 Leane P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, Josh, age 22, has been a longtime member of ENN. He's attended ENN hosted summer camps and I have benefited by being part of a network of parents and volunteers that share useful information that allows me to better my sons life. Josh and our family have made lifelong friends thanks to ENN.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

ENN is an amazing organization. They are local and the staff is amazingly friendly and helpful

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1 Karen Chiara D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son went to ENN camp this past summer and had the best time ever. Not only did it help him socially, it also helped him with his skills of independence. We were so grateful for this experience.

sradopter

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter loves going to camp. I never have to worry about her as I know she will be well cared for and all her needs will be met.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter loves going to camp. Before we even get home she is asking when she can go again. A safe haven where she can be herself and have fun with her peers. I never have to worry about her welfare when she's at camp. Staff know her well and greet her in the community when they see her. The facilities are the best. They meet her dietary needs and the food is wonderful. Truly a blessing!

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debsmill

Client Served

Rating: 5

For many years, my son who has autism has attended ENN’s Camp Arroyo. The staff there is so kind, loving and supportive. They do a wonderful job of making every camper feel like family. Camp is always fun and relaxing. My son enjoys going to camp every year. We enjoy seeing everyone and getting some time for ourselves. ENN is the best!!! Thank you for all you do.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been attending ENN's Camp Arroyo for 10 years. He has low functioning autism with little language and sensory sensitivities. He enjoys his time at camp hanging out on the patio and enjoying the beautiful and peaceful setting. At camp he can just "be" and have a break from the demands of school and afternoon activities.
The board members know my son and many other campers outside of camp and as a result creates a family friendly environment.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing organization.
Wonderful people
Excellent Camps for Special Needs Kids

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great network and resource for parents of kids with special needs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the best special needs camp ever! They go out of their way to make the experience good for the kids, and can handle a wide variety of emotional/behavioral/medical issues. The volunteers work year round to make camp a special experience for these children who don’t always have many other options. And they care about the family as well—it’s a very holistic group—so giving overwhelmed families a break is also an important function they provide.

Kristine18

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that has helped our son explore beyond his years. A well organized camp that has changed our family for the better.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son attended ENN camp last year for the first time. It was also his first time away from us. He absolutely loved it! We were so relieved upon arrival after meeting the exceptional staff and felt comfortable leaving him. He has talked about his weekend of camp fondly for the last year and can't wait to attend again this upcoming fall session! We can'T express our appreciation to ENN enough!

Review from Guidestar

RachelHarold

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for this organization and never have I seen a group of people that are as selfless as this group. EVERYONE is willing to chip in and give their all and the best part about being around these people is how much they enjoy being with these adult/kids and are having fun doing whatever is they are doing. God bless them, every one of them!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everything about ENN makes me smile. The people who work there, the pictures and videos I see online, my own experience working there as a Relief Counselor , the fundraiser at Tommy T's, the Counselors having fun with each other as well as bursting with enthusiasm for their camper. The emphasis for the camper is to enjoy each day independent of family and having many choices to have fun or just sit and relax or socialize. It's their camp, it's their time.There are so many activities to choose from and so many people who bring in exciting opportunities for these kids to have fun experiences. I Love ENN! I know so many families and counselors and campers who have benefited from their experience with this organization!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved in this organization for over 10 years and look forward to their summer and fall camp each year. I've really enjoyed the people I've met through ENN and watching the campers grow up before your eyes!

Previous Stories

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and worked for ENN for the past 10 years. Every year I look forward to returning to see how much the campers have grown and to visit with old friends. The amount of time and effort that each counselor devotes to their individual camper is remarkable and admirable. Seeing the smiles on the kids' faces is what keeps bringing me back. The campers are able to come and get a real camp experience that they may not be able to get otherwise. The accommodations really make their experience worth wild, no matter their disability and I am very thankful to be apart of this organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great nonprofit charity. ENN helps families with special needs children by giving the children a chance to participate in a great camp experience. There are a variety of activities to enjoy, such as magic show, petting zoo, art & crafts, horseback riding, swimming and making friends and much more. While the children are at camp it gives the parents a break to do something they want or nothing at all. I love seeing all the children having a good time at camp.

Elias R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter had an amazing time at camp. She can’t wait to go again!

Megan Reese S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is your top notch rainbow in a dark cloud kind of organization! It is a win win where my kiddo gets to have the time of his life at a camp where he feels more himself than he feels all year, while as a special need parent I get the respite that is crucial to re-charge to continue this hard work! The people at ENN are absolutely angels on earth!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great camp that allows for children with special needs to experience the fun that come with an overnight camp as well as provide respite to the family

Donor

Rating: 5

An exceptional and brilliant charity that helps kids and parents celebrate exceptional needs.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This amazing group of people provide special need campers a fun and safe place to be themselves.
The parents come with smiles larger than life knowing their kids are in for a super good time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter loves ENN’s summer camp. She waits all year to go, and as soon as she’s home again, she wants to go back! This is her favorite special needs camp.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been campers through ENN for 3 years now! It has been the most fulfilling summer camp
Experience that our daughter had.

Client Served

Rating: 5

People in this network are the kindest people on earth. They understand the need for quality of life. My son attends the Fall overnight camp. This camp gives the rest of the family members an opportunity to live a "normal" family life even if it's only for the weekend. Thank you, ENN!

Client Served

Rating: 5

one of the best nonprofits for my special need son.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ENN has made us aware of many opportunities for our special needs kids. Wonderful resource.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since we’ve been apart of the ENN family and the summer camp
my son has been more social with his peers. ENN is such a blessing to our as well as other families. To have a organization that provides a “getaway/vacation “ for all the exceptional children is such a wonderful and memorable experience for them all

Stephanie Weldon T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great charity for kids with special needs. Provides camps where they can just play and be kids...and parents get a much needed break!