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Special Needs


JCC Camp Chi is nationally recognized for including campers with wide range of learning, developmental, cognitive, social and physical disabilities into the larger camp program.


keshet-chiInclusion & Integration

For nearly 20 years, we have been proud to partner with Keshet, a leader in providing inclusive education and recreation programs for children and young adults with special needs. Our inclusion program for campers in 4th-10th grade offers:

  • Participating in activities, sharing meals and sleeping in cabins with typically developing peers
  • Developing strong peer-to-peer relationships
  • One-on-one support
  • Individualized modifications and accommodations to ensure success
  • 2 week sessions, 4 week sessions or our four day introduction to camp, Try Chi, that’s packed with Chi fun and adventure


Avodah Vocational Program

Older teens and young adults can participate in the Keshet Avodah Corps at Camp Chi, a program that combines work-related activities with camp recreation. This unique experience is recognized as one of the most innovative Jewish programs serving individuals with disabilities. Avodah members live alongside other participants while gaining valuable life skills and work experience in a two week or four week session.


Serving More Children with Special Needs

In 2015, Camp Chi was selected as one of six camps nationwide to receive the FJC Ruderman/Alexander Inclusion Initiative, a three-year initiative that allows us to offer camp to even more families with children with special needs. This Initiative also enables us to hire a full-time Inclusion Coordinator (shown below), increase the length of sessions offered and expand the types of disabilities Camp Chi can accommodate. This is a transformative addition to Camp Chi that will extend across our entire camp community.


jennifer-phillipsInclusion Coordinator

Jennifer Phillips, an accomplished special education professional and Keshet lead teacher, directs all inclusion initiatives at Camp Chi. She is deeply committed to providing camp experiences that allow campers to become more independent, build confidence and develop friendships. From hiring staff to assisting a camper in adjusting to camp life, Jennifer is actively involved in every component of Camp Chi’s inclusion initiative.


Information and Special Needs Programs

To learn more or select the right program for your child, please email Jennifer or call her at 847.412.5773. Registration, financial assistance and pricing for these programs is managed through Keshet.


Learn more about Camp Chi’s Camp Firefly special needs program >>