Many recreational opportunities are available to students with special needs in the North Andover area. This directory provides a brief description and contact information for programs that welcome students with special needs. NAPAC provides this information as a resource and does not endorse any of the programs listed. If you know of additional programs that should be listed, please contact us.
Many students with special needs can successfully participate in programs that are NOT specifically developed for athletes with special needs. Parents are encouraged to contact community programs and discuss your child’s specific needs and what accommodations are possible. Such local organizations include:
- Merrimack Valley YMCA: Andover www.mvymca.org
- North Andover Booster Club (softball, basketball, cheering, football etc):
- North Andover Figure Skating: www.nafigureskating.org
- North Andover Little League: www.nayouthbaseball.org
- North Andover Soccer Association: www.nasoccer.com
- North Andover Youth Center: www.nayouth.com
Recreation Programs specific for children with special needs:
Special Olympics programs are for children age 8 thru adults who have an intellectual disability. For complete information contact Massachusetts Special Olympics is at www.specialolympicsma.org or (978) 774-1501.
Unified Sports is a division of Special Olympics where athletes with and without intellectual disabilities compete on the same team.
Challenger Sports are locally run programs for athlete of all ages and all disabilities. Challenger programs are very flexible and do not focus on competition.
Challenger Little League Program:
- Contact: Mike Bono at 339-227-0078 or at email@example.com.
- Details: Players with physical and intellectual disabilites age 4-18, or 22 years. A combined practice and game will be on Sunday afternoons at Carl Thomas field
- Dates: April – June
Special Olympic Softball:
- Contact: Haverhill STARS: Kathy (978) 265-8278
- Dates: May – June
Miracle League Baseball:
- Contact: www.miracleleagueofma.org or 978-263-3043
- Dates: Registration is in March
- Details: Age 5-18, games are Saturday mornings in Boxboro. All children welcome to play.
Special Olympic Bowling:
- Contact: Peter Flister at the Northeast ARC http://ne-arc.org/familyservices/recreation.htm
- Details: Age 6-adult at Sunnyside Bowl (Danvers)
- Dates: ongoing
- Contact: Fidelity House Human Services, Lawrence (978) 685-9471
- Details: This league runs Sept – June. Held at Academy Lanes, Haverhill
- Contact: deanoUSA@aol.com
- Details: This league is at Academy Lanes- Haverhill and cost $9.25/week
- Dates: Saturday 10 – noon Sept. – April
- Contact: North Andover Crusaders: Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Details: Teams are based on age. Held at the North Andover Youth Center
- Dates: November – February
- Contact: Cathy at ctorres5L@verizon.net
- Details: Team leaders are Andover High cheerleaders. Cheers and a dance routine are learned and performed at the Special Olympics Opening Games ceremony in Boston.
- Dates: March – Early June, Sunday afternoons
- Contact: Karen 978-683-6150 www.lawrencepopwarner.com
- Details: Sponsored by Lawrence Pop Warner Football. This is non-tackle football for ages 5-16
- Dates: fall sport see website for details
Flag Football: Haverhill
- Contact: deanoUSA@aol.com
- Details: Special Olympics teams. Tournament in Nov is at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro
- Dates: Sept – Nov.
Special Olympic Golf
- Contact: Geof Simons at email@example.com
- Details: Held at Hillview Golf Course North Reading
- Pro instruction
- Dates: June – September
Special Olympic Gymnastics: Middleton
- Contact: Patti MacPhee at 978-686-3606 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Details: Held at Yellow Jackets Gymnastics (Middleton) on Saturday afternoons for girls age 8-18.
- Dates: September- December and March – June
Special Olympic Gymnastics – North Andover
- Contact: Barbara at 978-687-7777
- Details: Held at Legends Gymnastics on Saturday afternoons for boys and girls age 8-18
- Dates: Sept – June
Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm (Andover)
- Contact: 978-475-4056 www.challengeunlimited.org.
- Details: pediatric and adult therapeutic horseback riding lessons. Programs are available all year.
Windrush Farm (North Andover/Boxford)
- Contact: 978-682-7855 www.windrushfarm.org
- Details: pediatric (age 2+) and adult theraputic horseback riding and learning experiences.
- Programs are available all year. Summer camps for age 5-12. All activities are modified to accommodate the needs and strengths of each participant.
Pear Tree Lane Stable (Haverhill)
- Contact: 978-521-1505 www.peartreelanestable.netfirms.com
- Details: pediatric and adult theraputic horseback riding lessons.
- Programs are available all year
The Holland Project (Merrimac)
- Contact: www.thehollandproject.org
East Coast Karate Academy (Swampscott)
- Contact: 781-586-8779 www.eastcoastkaratehome.com
- Details: Specialized instruction provided in small groups for children with autism, PDD-NOS
- Contact; Methuen Karate Association at 978-683-4287
- Details: All levels welcome.
- Dates: Monday’s 4:30 – 5:15
- Contact: Karen Gerardi 781-944-4433 email@example.com or
- Liz and Steve Holland 781-944-0437 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Details: Burbank Arena, Reading All skaters skate with a high school age buddy. $150
- Dates: Saturdays October-February
Special Olympic Skiing
- Contact: Peter Flister Northeast ARC at http://ne-arc.org/familyservices/recreation.htm
- Details: Contact Northeast ARC – Danvers
Adaptive Ski Programs in New England
- New England Disabled Sports at Loon Mountain – provides year round activities as well as winter sports, PSIA-E Member
School. (603) 745-6281 x5663 or e-mail: info@NEDisabledSports.org for rates and reservations.
- Wachusett Mountain Adaptive Program – Call (978) 464-2300 x3308 for information and reservations.
- Gunstock – www.gunstockadaptive.org.
- New England Handicapped Sports Association – Mount Sunapee – Call (603) 763-9158 and ask for John Kersey, Executive
Director or e-mail: email@example.com
- Contact: North Andover Stars: Kathy and Doug Keith email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Details: Teams are based on age (8 – adult) Practices are at NAHS . Teams include athletes with special needs and those without. Focus is on skills and game rules. Season includes 2 regional tournaments
- Dates: Sundays Sept – Nov.
Special Olympic Swimming
- Contact: Gerry Paterson at email@example.com
- Details: Swimmers have the opportunity to work on stroke development. Swimmers that can swim one length of the pool can compete in the 2-3 swim meets. Cost of program is $140 Held at Haverhill High School pool
- Date: January –June on Saturday afternoons
Social Skills Groups:
- Andover Counseling Center – North Andover 978-682-1579
- Futures Behavior Therapy Center – Beverly 978-969-2894
- Simply Social Kids – Tyngsboro and Chelmsford 978-764-2758
Enrichment Programs / Camps Specific to Children with Special Needs:
Camp SteppingStone (Boxford)
- Contact: Greater Lawrence Educational Collaborative www.glec.org or call (978) 685-3000.
- Details: Camp Stepping Stone provides a six-week educational summer program to students, ages 3 to 22 with moderate to severe developmental delays. This program is located at Stiles Pond in Boxford. The therapy services are provided using an integrated model of service delivery. Camp SteppingStone is located next to a YMCA camp. Opportunities for interaction with peers at the YMCA camp are encouraged. This camp may be appropriate for children with more severe medical needs, or children who may require substantially separate classrooms during the school year. Note: Air conditioning is limited.
Camp Triumph at The Academy North (Danvers and North Reading)
- Contact: www.academynorth.com or call (978) 232-0192
- Details: This is a therapeutic recreational day camp for boys and girls age 5-15 years. The camp program offers a supportive, encouraging environment designed to help children increase their feelings of self-esteem and improve their social, physical and psychological competence. This summer program focuses on structured play and cooperative learning through social skill groups. There are no academics and no therapies.
The Paul Center for Learning and Recreation (Chelmsford)
- Contact: www.thepaulcenter.org or call (978-256-4396
- Details: The Summer School at the Paul Center is a Chapter 766 approved summer school program for students ages 4-21, providing a six-week (Mon- Fri.) day program for children with moderate to severe developmental or cognitive disabilities. Daily sessions focus on IEP goals, communication and social skills, activities of daily living (ADL),etc There are also daily pool sessions for basic water skills and safety. Speech and language and occupational therapies are provided as necessary in ½ hour sessions up to two times per week. Overnight camps also are available.
Camp Good Times (Stoneham)
- Contact: www.stopthatbehavior.com or call 781-895-3200 x24.
- Details: Camp Good Times is designed for children ages 3-22 with Asperger’s, PDD, Anxiety Disorders, and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities. They focus on the development of language and social skills through a variety of structured activities that encourage participation, build confidence and make learning fun.
Drama Play Connection (Weston)
- Contact: www.dramaplayconnection.org
- Details: Children and teens learn social skills through the art of drama. Run by a neuropsychologist. CIT opportunities for older teens. Activities include swimming, games, etc.
Fidelity House Human Services (Lawrence)
- Contact: Fidelity House Human Services, Lawrence (978) 685-9471
- Details: Several school-year opportunities are offered including art classes, music therapy, and dance classes. Programs for all ages.
ARC of Greater Lawrence (Lawrence)
- Contact: Kendrys Vasquez 978-975-8587 x1208
- Details: Offers dances, classes in art, music, computer training and swimming
Northeast ARC: (Danvers)
- Contact: Peter Flisher
- Details: Many year round social and recreational programs are offered including dances, scrape booking, swimming, boy scouts, arts/craft, cooking, etc Age 8-adult
The ARC of East Middlesex: (Reading)
- Contact: 781- 942-4888 (ext. 4036) www.theemarc.org
- Details: Many year round social and recreational programs including art, theater, dancing, golf, tennis, cooking, etc
Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network (Salem, NH)
- Contact: Contact Donna Beaudin, 603-893-2900 ext.766. www.northeastrehab.com.
- Details: Six-week summer program at the Rehab Hospital in Salem, NH. Education and therapy based sessions; groups include therapeutic (warm) pool, ADL sessions, social skills classes, chat rooms. For ages 3-16.
AccesSportAmerica High Challenge Water Sports Program Sponsored by the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation For Autism:
- Contact: Chris Chirco at 508-270-8855 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- For more information about Access Sport America, visit www.accessportamerica.org.
- Details: Water sports program for children on the autism spectrum. Cost per day is $10.00.
- Dates: Sessions run June through August at the Reservoir Lake at Mass. Hospital School in Canton, Spaulding Pier at Spaulding Rehab in Boston, and Powder Point in Duxbury
Massachusetts State Parks
- Contact: www.mass.gov/dcr/universal_access/index.htm
- Details: The State Parks department provides year round adaptive recreation equipment, and accessible recreation programs at many State Parks. See the web site for information
Scala Art Center
- Contact: www.scalaartcenter.com or 978-352-8614
- Details: Summer programs run 9am – 3pm All types of art are explored including sculpure, jewelry, photography, and drawing. Located at 28 West Main St Georgetown
- Contact: 781-395-4999. www.outdoorexplorations.org
- Details: Outdoor Explorations is dedicated to giving everyone the opportunity to explore sailing, kayaking, rafting, rocks and ropes, backpacking, family camping etc
- Dates: See website for details
Professional Center for Child Development (Andover):
- Contact: Kim Briggs, M.Ed. CCC-SLP 978-475-3806 ext.226 email@example.com
- Details: The PCCD offers a variety of summer learning programs and events for children and family members. Also a 6-week Social Skills Group.
- Dates: Call for program details
The REC (Recreational Education Center ( Peabody)
- They run a drop-in play center for all children, and they have a very flexible ABA-based summer camp program for children with special needs. http://www.recreationaleducationcenter.com/
Greater Lowell Scottish Rights Learning Center (Lowell
- Contacts: 978-937-9577
- Details: Free summer reading program for kids with dyslexia
- Dates: call for details
Kids in Disability Sports (K.I.D.S.) (Lowell)
- Contact: 1-888-562-0168 www.kidsindisabilitysports.org
- Details: Spring and summer programs include Wiffle Ball, Track and Field, Baseball and Golf.
- Dates: See website for details
Community Enrichment Activities: Programs are open to children with and without special needs. Contact program coordinator to discuss accommodations for your child.
North Andover Community Programs (North Andover):
- Contact: Community Programs 978-794-3080.
- Details: The Town of North Andover offers various recreational and enrichment programs throughout the year. Summer programs include basketball camps, dance camps, cooking classes, writing workshops etc.
- Dates: July and August
K.I.T.E (Andover at Pike School)
- Contact: Janis Baron 978-475-1422, www:kaleidoscopekids.com.
- Details Ages 3-13. Extensive number of enrichment programs (drama, cooking, art, science, etc) Extended day available.
Steven’s Pond Swimming Lessons:
- Contact: Contact the North Andover Youth Services, 978-682-9000.
- Details: group swimming lessons.
- Dates: Summer permits and program sign up information will be available after the first week of May.
Pool School Plus (various locations)
- Contact: www.poolschool.org. Nancy Drummond (978-851-5023) and Lynn Tilley (978-689-4288)
- Details: Many different swimming programs at various locations for all levels.
- Dates: check website for details.
Sports Club for Kids: at Boston Sports Club (Andover)
- Contact: 978-475-3333 www.mysportsclubs.com
- Details: Recreational programs for kids from six months to 15 years. Offers gymnastics, sports skills, music and movement, performing arts, craft design.
- Dates: see website for details
North Andover School of Dance
- Contact: www.nasdg.com. 978-688-6683
- Details: Age 3-11 Full and ½ day dance/cheer/gymnastic camps. (full day camp includes arts & crafts). Sign up for single day or full program
Philips Academy Skating (Andover):
- Contact: www.andover.edu/ice/summer_prog.htm.
- Details: Many skating programs available from beginner to advanced.
- Dates: June through August.
Children’s Studio for the Arts (Andover)
- Contact: www.geocities.com/studioforarts; 978-623-8274.
- Details: Summer sessions in drama, music, visual arts, dance/movement.
- Dates: Check website for details.
Acting Out! (North Andover)
- Contact: www.actingout.biz Contact Linda Schoomaker 978-794-0001.
- Details: Creative Theatre Workshops, ages 5-15.
- Dates: Check website for details.
Greater Lawrence Sailing Program (Lawrence)
- Contact: www.boatingprogram.com 978-681-8675
- Details: Must be at least 10 years old and able to swim 75 yards and tread water for 10 minutes. Dates: Check website for dates.
Local Summer Day Camps: Programs are open to children with and without special needs. Contact program coordinator to discuss accommodations for your child
North Andover Summer Fun:
- Contact: 978-682-9000. www.nayouth.com
- Details: This is a half day camp. Campers are divided by age at various
Cedarland Summer Day Camp (North Andover):
- Contact: 978-521-7700. www.cedarland.net
- Details: Ages 3-14.
- Dates: Full Day Camp
Brooks School Day Camp (North Andover):
- Contact: 978-725-6300. www.brooksschool.org
- Details: Ages 4 -12. Registration begins in January and fills up quickly. Programs include drama, arts/craft, tennis, swimming and other water activities, ice skating, hiking, etc.
Summertime at Pike (Andover)
- Contact: Nancy Rullo, Director. 978-475-1197 ext 263. www.pikeschool.org.
- Details: Pre-K through grade 10
- Dates: Contact school for more information
Camp Evergreen Day Camp (Andover)
- Contact: 978-475-2502, www.campevergreen.com.
- Details: Ages 4 1/2-14. 2-8 week sessions Extended hours are available. Preview days on Saturdays during the spring. Full time nurse on staff during the summer. Groups separated by gender (except preschoolers). Activities include nature, arts and crafts, wood shop, drama, sports, archery, tennis. Bus service from North Andover
Girl Scouts of Spar and Spindle Council (Andover)
- Contact: 800-842-5666 or 978-689-8015, www.ssgsc.org
- Details: Day camp (ages 6 to 16), bus service available from North Andover. Campers are not required to be Girl Scouts
Boy Scouts of America, Yankee Clipper Council
- Contact: 978-382-0591 www.yccbsa.org
- Details: Various ages and camping opportunities both day and overnight, check website for listings. Must be a registered Boy Scout.
- Dates: See website for Spring open house dates.
Camp Leslie:(4-H Camp Leslie Essex County 4-H Club Camps, Inc.) (Pentucket Pond, Georgetown, MA)
- Contact: 978-352-8060, leave message and information will be sent to you.
- Details: ACA accredited residential and day camp for ages 7-14.
Merrimack Valley YMCA Day Camp Otter:(Salem, NH)
- Contact:978-975-1330, leave message and information will be sent to you.
Danvers Community Y Day Camp: (Stiles Pond, Boxford, MA)
- Contact: 978-774-2055. Leave message and information will be sent to you.
- Details: Ages 6-12. Arts and crafts, swimming, boating, fishing, nature study, sports, Project Adventure Course
Ipswich River Day Camp: Massachusetts Audubon Society (Topsfield, MA)
- Contact: 978-887-9264. www.MassAudubon.org
- Details: Ages 4-14. Nature study, environmental arts and crafts, cooperative games, whale watch
Pingree Experience Day Camp: The Pingree School (Hamilton, MA)
- Contact: 978-468-4415. Call Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00 and press “4” for Summer Programs.
- Details: Ages 4-12. Archery, arts and crafts, computers, swimming, team building initiatives.
OVERNIGHT CAMPS These are a few of the camps for children with special needs.
Camp Chest Nut (Bement Camp and Conference Center, Charlton Depot, MA)
- Contact: 508-668-6729, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Details: Overnight camp for children with Asthma, Ages 8-13.
- Dates: Ask for details
Camp Kingswood: (Bridgton, ME)
- Contact: JCC, Newton, MA 617-558-6508 or www.kingswood.org
- Details: This is a typical camp which provides inclusive opportunities for children with special needs. One or two week options.
Camp Rotary: Greater Lynn Rotary Club (Boxford, MA)
- Contact: winter phone number: 978-388-2557 (during the summer: 978-352-9952). www.camprotary.org
- Details: Residential, ages 7-15. Not specific to children with special needs Archery, biking, challenge ropes course, kayaking, performing arts, sailing.
Berkshire Hills Music Academy Summer Program (South Hadley)
- Contact: Elizabeth Hart (413) 540-9720 www.berkshirehills.org
- Details: Residential program for young adults (age 16-30) with cognitive disabilities emphasizing musical exploration and development, social skills, and independent living skills in a relaxed, recreational setting. Located on the 40-acre campus of Berkshire Hills Music Academy, the program offers music instruction, interesting informal classes, art and recreational
Camp Allen (Bedford, NH)
- Contact: www.campallenNH.org (603) 622-8471
- Details: Day and Overnight options available for children thru adult with special needs
Camp Fatima ( Gilmanton Iron Works, NH)
- Contact: Michael Drumm (603)364-5851 or www.diocamps.org
- Details: Camp Fatima offers two separate weeks of camp for persons with disabilities (age 9+). Activities include swimming, arts & crafts, talent shows, and horseback riding. Special Needs Week is for people with mild/moderate special needs. This week has a 4:1 camper: counselor ratio. This week requires that campers be able to care for their own basic needs and be able to walk around the camp on their own. Exceptional Citizens Week (free) is for campers with greater needs than Special Needs Week can provide. This week has a 1:1 camper: counselor ratio which allows for closer interaction and independence of activity if the camper so desires.
Camp Thorpe (Goshen,VT)
- Contact: www.campthorpe.com
- Details: Camp for physically, mentally and emotionally needy children and adults.
Camp Harkness ( Waterford, CT)
- Contact: Ellen Fisher at (860) 236-6205 or www.sunrisegroup.org
- Details: Camp Harkness offers one and two week sessions that focus on ability rather than the disability of each individual. Participants are encouraged to actively participate in boating, horseback riding, arts and crafts, sports games, swimming and community trips. Ages 8 – adult
Easter Seals Camps
- Contact: Easter Seals Camps: 800-244-2756 x410 www.eastersealsma.org.
- Details: Agassiz Village: (ages 8-13) located in Poland, ME. Offers the full overnight camp experience (5 days) for kids with mild/moderate disabilities. Campers are fully included with typical campers. Camp Hemlocks in Hebron, CT. for children and young adults with moderate/severe disabilities. All campers have a disability.
4H Camp Howe: (Goshen, MA)
- Contact: www.camphowe.com
- Details: This is a typical overnight camp providing inclusive opportunities for children with special needs.
The Paul Center: Chelmsford
- Contact www.thepaulcenter.org or 978-256-4396
- Details: Day and overnight camps are offered at this year round school for students with special needs.
- Memorial Hall Library, Andover has a listing of area summer programs: www.mhl.org/andover/camps.htm
- American Camping Association of New England: www.acane-camps.org
- Camp search sites: www.kidscamps.com and www.mysummercamps.com
- Whole Children (Hadley, MA) www.wholechildren.org
- All Out Adventures (Massachusetts): www.alloutadventures.org
- Places to Go: North of Boston and Beyond with Children Birth to Six (Published by the Mother Connection: www.themotherconnection.org). Available through the website or Mother Connection: $19.95.
Federation for Children with Special Needs: www.fcsn.org has a 100+ page directory of summer day and residential camps in New England. Many camps are specific to medical condition or diagnosis. Below is a listing of some Massachusetts camps. Please see the web site for details
4-H Camp Howe Goshen
Berkshire Hills Music Academy Summer Program South Hadley
Camp Arrowhead Natick
Camp Chest Nut Walpole
Camp Echo Bridge Newton
Camp Fire USA, Eastern Massachusetts Council Boston
Camp Good Times Waltham
Camp Harrington Worcester
Camp Kyle T. Woodruff for Children with Diabetes Fall River
Camp Ramah in New England – Tikvah Program Needham
Camp Star Springfield
Camp Starfish Boston
Camp Triumph Beverly
Cathedral Camp East Freetown
Clarke School Summer Program Northampton
Daybreak Day Camp Cambridge
Eagle Hill Summer Program Hardwick
Easter Seals Summer Camping Program Worcester
Elliot P. Joslin Camps for Children with Diabetes Boston
Girl Scouts of Spar and Spindle Council North Andover
Handi Kids Bridgewater
Island of Hope Boston
Kamp for Kids Westfield
Landmark School Summer Program Pride’s Crossing
Lexia Summer Camp Lincoln
Madden Open Hearts Camp Great Barrington
Media Arts Summer Program Roxbury
Outdoor Explorations Medford
Patriots’ Trail Girl Scout Camps Boston
Pequossett Summer Program Watertown
Perkins Outreach Elementary Summer Program Watertown
Perkins Outreach Summer Program: A Sampling of the World of Work Watertown
Perkins Outreach Summer Program: Dealing with the Present While Preparing for the Future Watertown
Student Hostelling Program, Inc. Conway
The Barton Center for Diabetes Education North Oxford
The Carroll School Summer Programs Lincoln
The Paul Center for Learning and Recreation Chelmsford
Trips Unlimited Bedford
Wediko Summer Program Boston
YMCA Camp Connolly Brighton
YMCA Camp Lawrence Lawrence
YMCA Camp Massapoag Dunstable
YMCA Camp Nokomis Lawrence
YMCA Camp Otter Lawrence
YMCA Camp STAR Beverly
YMCA of Greater Boston-Ponkapoag Outdoor Center Canton
Youth in Transition Newton