Ben James Summer Camp
The Ben James Autism Summer Camp is a recreation program for children, youth and young adults on the Autism Spectrum between the ages of five and 21+ years. Each camper is supported with a 1:1 camper/counsellor ratio, and activities are designed specifically with campers’ needs and interests in mind.
Ages five to 21 years and up
Halifax – Spryfield Lion’s Rink and Recreation Centre
Dartmouth – Port Wallis United Church
In 2020, Ben James Autism Summer Camp began offering sessions for adults aged 21 and older. To accommodate the greater numbers of autistic children, youth and adults seeking a summer camp experience, the camp moved from a two-week program to one week of full-days. The camp has received recognition over its 20 years, including numerous media features and in 2020 it was awarded the Invisible Champion Award from the Bhayana Foundation for developing and offering a “pandemic-safe” version of the summer day camp model that was then used by other camps across Nova Scotia.
During each week of camp, campers have inclusive recreational and social opportunities that they may not otherwise have access to throughout summer months. Campers’ experiences are individualized and staff and volunteers work with each camper to determine what they want ‘camp’ to look like for them. This allows campers a sense of empowerment – as one camper put it, “I love that they say yes to all of my ideas!”
Autism Nova Scotia wishes to thank the following supporters of Ben James Autism Summer Camp: The Craig Foundation, Windsor Foundation, Government of Canada (Canada Summer Jobs), Province of Nova Scotia (SKILL), Mackie Moving Systems
Caitlyn Temple, Camp Director