The Constance and David Blacher Children’s Special Needs Programs


Tikvah – Special Needs

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Tikvah is a unit of Camp Shalom for children and teens, 6 – 14 years of age with varying exceptionalities such as cognitive, emotional, developmental and learning disabilities. It is a social, recreational program that adapts the needs of a traditional, integrated summer camp program. Staff embraces each participant’s individuality, and supports campers in their efforts to improve abilities and achieve their goals. Our low staff to camper ratio provides our campers with an opportunity for adventure and accomplishment with the safest supervision standards.

All campers are required to have an intake meeting with the Special Needs Director before registering. Please bring a copy of the camper’s IEP to the meeting.


Inclusion Camp Available for Campers in K-6th grade

We believe that every child can succeed, every child can participate, and every child can make friends. We believe that inclusion is good for everyone- kids with and without disabilities, families, staff, and our community! Campers can be included in a group from one of our general day camp units. Inclusion campers will participate with their typically developing peers with a little more supervision. We give special consideration to matching personality types of other campers, as well as the primary counselor, to ensure the most successful experience. Campers who wish to participate in our inclusion program must get approval from the Special Needs Director prior to registering for camp. Please bring a copy of the camper’s IEP to the meeting.

Space is limited. Returning campers will be given priority for admission to the inclusion program. An additional fee of $100 per week will be added for providing extra supervision.

Who is a good fit for the Inclusion Program?

  • Campers in K-6th grade
  • Campers with many kinds of disabilities are welcome. Any child with an IEP, 504 plan, Functional Behavior Assessment and/or Behavioral Intervention Plan would be considered part of inclusion.
  • Safety comes first. Campers need to be able to participate safely in activities without one-to-one support.
  • Campers, 6 years and older, need to be able to change clothes, eat and toilet independently. While inclusion staff gives individual support when campers need it, each inclusion staff person serves 3-4 campers.

Summer School Camp Shalom Session

Children who attend summer school in the morning can enjoy an afternoon of Camp Shalom fun at the Mandel JCC in Palm Beach Gardens.

JCC Camp Shalom provides a fun and rewarding summer camp experience for children with varying exceptionalities. Campers enjoy sports, games, music, dance, art, cooking, and much more. Our low staff to camper ratio gives our campers the opportunity for adventure and accomplishment with the safest supervision standards.

Campers must have an intake meeting with the Special Needs Director before registering. Please bring a copy of the camper’s IEP to the meeting.

Monday –Thursday, 12:30–4:00pm / Friday, 9:00–4:00pm
Dates will follow Palm Beach County Summer School Dates. Aftercare is available for an additional fee.


Tikvah – A Typical Day

Each day Camp Shalom contains age-appropriate programming to target the needs of every camper. Activities are designed to enhance social, motor, language and other vital life skills that promote greater independence.

Each day will include

Boker Tov
The entire camp comes together for an energized spirit fest to start the day off right! At Boker Tov we sing all our favorite camp songs and enjoy exciting bunk competitions.

Bunk Time
A time and place to develop and strengthen friendships in a small group setting, while participating in a variety of activities.

  • Social Skills
  • Sensory Play
  • Group Games
  • And so much more

Specialty Period 1
Each week every camper will experience a wide variety of activities such as:
• Science • Dance • Gymnastics • Sports • Art • Yoga • Theme Days • Israeli Culture • Tennis • Music • Field Trips

Instructional Swimming
Individualized small group instructional swim facilitated by JSwim instructors, which provides every camper the ability to strengthen their swim skills.

Free Swim
Campers enjoy time to practice all the skills they have learned and just have fun with friends while under the supervision of counselors and lifeguards.

Lunch
Beginning with a prayer of thanks, campers enjoy eating their home packed lunch with friends.

Specialty Period 2
An opportunity to participate in another specialty activity

Specialty Period 3
An opportunity to participate in another specialty activity

Snack
A camp provided, nutritious and healthy bite to satisfy any hunger.

Closing
One last chance to get out any energy campers have left through song and cheer while showing their spirit and approval of the day. Campers and parents are presented with any information (handouts/notes) they need for the following camp day.


Summer Stars

We are thrilled to announce our new Special Needs Summer Stars Program. This program is specifically designed for teens to young adults, 15 – 22 years of age. These individuals will participate in age appropriate activities, such as socialization, recreation and life skills that are enhanced in a fun environment. Summer enrichment programs are implemented into daily schedules such as swimming, yoga, music, fitness, karate, art and more. Weekly field trips to lend entertainment will be scheduled. An intake meeting is required for all new and returning participants. Please bring a copy of the camper’s IEP to the meeting.