Top Special Needs Summer Camps and Summer Special Needs Programs for Kids & Teens in Virginia

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Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center
Fort Valley, Virginia

Visit Our Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center Website
(540) 449-0012
2239 Camp Roosevelt Road
Fort Valley, Virginia 22652

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CAMPER AGES: rising 1st to 12th grade

TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight/Sleepaway. two night sessions for Buddies in Christ/Special Needs Camp

CAMPER GENDER(S): Coed Campers.

AFFILIATION(S): Christian. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

BRIEF CAMP DESCRIPTION: Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center sits on 257 acres in the Shenandoah Valley. We offer eight weeks of Summer Camp to rising 1st through 12th graders. Campers experience daily worship and Bible study, plus a large range of activities. Campers can expect a week packed with fun! They'll get to swim, canoe, fish, creek walk, play small and large group games, challenge themselves on our low ropes course, hike, cook over a campfire, create crafts, learn archery, gain culinary skills, and explore the furnace ruins on camp property. Each week, Chaplains from supporting congregations join us in leading the campers in morning worship, Bible study, and campfire and evening devotion. Caroline Furnace combines small and large group -style camping in an outdoor, faith-filled setting, all to create an unforgettable summer camp experience for your camper.

SPECIAL NEEDS CAMPERS: Come experience camp together! Buddies in Christ camp is June 30-July 2 and July 2-4, and is designed for campers rising 1st to 12th grade who may not be able to come to camp on their own. We recognize that traditional summer camp has inherent demands that can make it difficult for campers with special needs - to include a busy schedule, high levels of activity, and uneven terrain. For Special Needs Camp, we work with each family to meet the needs of each individual.

Each camper comes for two nights with at least one parent. Buddies in Christ Camp is based in the Cabin Village. Group size is intentionally small (15 campers per session) to maximize individualized attention. Every camper has a high school or college aged "buddy" to guide them throughout the day. Parents are given optional free time on the second day of camp (July 1 or July 3, depending on session), and we will have parent activities and local business discounts available.

All camper activities are challenge by choice and include campfires, canoeing, fishing, swimming, yoga and play-based worship. Camp concludes with an optional family outing on the third day. The entire schedule is adapted to allow for longer transition times, flexibility, and more down time.

We feel it is important to discuss the realities of camp with each family, and what we can do to help each camper. The Cabin Village is wheelchair accessible, with two wheelchair accessible Cabins and accessibility to all common areas. There will most likely be two or three families per Cabin. The Cabins do not have air conditioning but we provide fans. The Cabin Village is wooded and nearly all activities will be accessed via trails. It can be humid and buggy during the day in the summer, with cool, dark nights.

Theater, Music/Band, Fine Arts/Crafts, Horses/Equestrian, Waterfront/Aquatics, Team Sports, Academics, Adventure, Travel, Wilderness/Nature, and more. Canoeing, Fishing, Archery, Hiking, Culinary, History, Caving, Rock Climbing,

CAMP LOCATION: Serving the community since 1957, we sit on 257 acres in the Shenandoah Valley and are situated northwest of Washington DC. We are supported by three local Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) - Virginia, Metro DC, and West Virginia-Western Maryland. Our mission is to provide unforgettable faith, education and renewal experiences in God’s creation for all God’s people.

CAMP FACILITIES: Our Cabin Village has eight modern-rustic cabins that sleep a total of 100, with an adjacent dining hall, large modern bathhouse, and modern air-conditioned/heated meeting facility. Our Sukkah Village sleeps up to 48 in 6 Sukkahs. Sukkahs are roofed platforms with screened half-walls and 8 beds each. We have a low ropes course, a 5 acre lake for swimming, canoeing and fishing, a prayer labyrinth, an extensive trail system, 8 large group fire circles, National Forest access, and incredible stargazing.

CAMP PROGRAM INFO: Serving the community since 1957, our mission is to provide unforgettable faith, education and renewal experiences in God’s creation for all God’s people. As a separate non-profit incorporated entity of the ELCA we provide opportunities to a wide variety of public and private schools, churches, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. We partner with local businesses and organizations to provide valuable services that develop current and future leaders for our community and the world.

Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center has a small year-round staff of 3 full time and 4 part time/seasonal full time. We hire 15-20 counselors for our Summer Camp program. All are certified in First Aid and CPR, with additional opportunities for Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguard, American Canoe Association Instructor, Archery Instructor, ServSafe Food Handler/Manager, Leave No Trace Trainer, and more.

CAMP LEADERSHIP CIT/LIT PROGRAMS: Do you dream of serving on the Caroline Furnace staff or becoming a stronger leader in your community? Our LITs are challenged to grow in their faith and leadership, and are equipped with skills and tools to continue learning and growing after camp is over. LITs are chosen for their faith maturity, desire to become a better leader, and motivated personality.

During your LIT! training week (Part One), you will develop skills, awareness and experience that will put you into action as a quality leader and team member. Throughout your training week, you will study and practice the art of leading others with the help of our Leadership Team. Following successful completion of your first week, you may choose a second week (Part Two) to return to camp and co-lead a cabin under the leadership of one of our counselors. Part Two weeks are offered weeks three through seven of summer camp.

Our Leaders In Training program is application based. Learn more at Our Camp Website Link:

CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS OR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: At Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center, scholarships are determined on a case-by-case basis. About 30% of our campers come on partial or full scholarship or sponsorship. Contact us for more information at Our Camp Website Link:

FAMILY CAMP SESSION(S): We offer one week of Family Camp with a half-week or full-week option, as well as a Family Camp Out-Trip - an overnight canoeing trip on the Shenandoah River. Out-Trip participants must be potty-trained and able to sleep in a tent at a primitive site (composting toilets available).

YEAR-ROUND PROGRAMS: Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center is a year-round retreat center and summer camp. Our main property is in Fort Valley VA and we also operate an adult retreat center in Strasburg VA. We are busy year round with rental groups and planned programming in faith, education, and renewal - youth retreats, campus ministries, men’s and women’s groups, school groups, conference meetings, scouting trips, family reunions, and special events. Our group minimum is 10, and we can accommodate large groups of 200+. For eight weeks of the year Caroline Furnace is filled with the excitement of Summer Camp, available for rising 1st to 12th grade campers.

Please see Our Camp Website Link: for more information.

Summer Staff positions at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center - You'll be signing up for two weeks of staff training and eight weeks of varied outdoor adventure - May 31 to August 9. There are opportunities for select applicants to begin a couple weeks early and stay a week or two later.

You can expect a new adventure each week, to gain new skills and experiences, and to make friendships that will last a lifetime.

Do you have what it takes to be a Camp Counselor? You'll need an endless supply of energy, love, enthusiasm, patience, and kindness. You must be able to share your faith story and encourage young people to grow in their own relationship with Jesus Christ. You must embrace the adventure of the outdoors and work well in a team. You must be willing to unplug from technology and focus on your relationship with God, nature, and the people around you.

​Academic Internships are available. Pay is based on experience and certifications. Contact us for more information or apply online at Our Camp Website Link:

Go to The Best Virginia Special Needs Camps Directory to Find More Summer Special Needs Camps Near Fort Valley, Virginia.

Virginia Summer Special Needs Camps Offer Wide Range of Special Needs Programs & Summer Special Needs Activities

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Updated: May 24, 2018

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