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JCC Camps at Medford
When you're a kid, every summer matters.

Special Needs

Open Hearts / Open Doors

Our special needs program, Open Hearts/Open Doors (OH/OD), provides accommodations in order for children with disabilities to fully participate with age-appropriate peers at the JCC Camps at Medford. We have had success working with children with a wide range of disabilities including Autism, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and more.

Campers in our Open Hearts/ Open Doors program are placed in groups according to grade and gender along with their typical peers.  The majority of our OH/OD participants receive one-on-one assistance, though some share assistance with other campers.  Integrated within camp, a trained shadow (advocate) helps each child fully maximize his/her experience.  These advocates are hired and trained directly by the JCC Camps at Medford, and there is no additional cost to camp families.  All staff at camp also receive training from our Open Hearts/Open doors team about creating an inclusive camp experience.

Space is limited and there is often a waiting list for the program. For an application, please contact Eileen Elias, Director of Special Needs Services at the Katz JCC, eelias@jfedsnj.org.

For teens with special needs, we have created the Coolanu Life and Leisure Skills program, which is intended for graduates of Camp’s Open Hearts / Open Doors program and is based at the JCC Camps at Medford.  Coolanu in Hebrew means “all of us” and together we are helping prepare our teens with special needs for the next stages of life.  The program includes life, job, and social skills training, as well as creative and recreational activities.  For more information about Coolanu, please email us at coolanu@jfedsnj.org .  Registration for Coolanu is done through the regular online camp registration process.

 Funding Options

The JCC Camps at Medford is approved through the NJ Department of Children and Families NJ Children’s System of Care. This program provides some funding for qualified children to attend Camp. To see if your child qualifies for services, please contact Perform Care at 1-877-652-7624.

Learn more about Open Hearts / Open Doors