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): www.northandoverboosterclub.com
- North Andover Soccer Association: www.northandoversoccer.com
- North Andover Youth Center: www.northandoverma.gov/youth-and-recreation-services
Recreation Programs specific for children with special needs:
Special Olympics of Massachusetts offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for all ages. Many sports are offered in the Merrimack Valley. Contact Special Olympics of MA to see the list of sports and to get the contact person’s information for any program offered. All athletes are required to complete a medical form prior to participating. Most programs are for athletes age 8 thru adults who have an intellectual disability. Unified Sports is a division of Special Olympics where athletes with and without intellectual disabilities compete on the same team. Olympics also has a Young Athletes Program at Merrimack College which is for athletes age 2-7. For complete information contact Massachusetts Special Olympics is at www.specialolympicsma.org or call (978) 774-1501.
Challenger Sports are locally run programs (independent from Special Olympics) for athlete of all ages and all disabilities. Challenger programs are very flexible and focus on skill building.
Challenger Little League Program:
- Contact: Mike Bono at 339-227-0078 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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: Haverhill
- Contact: Special Olympic
- Contact: Fidelity House Human Services, Lawrence (978) 685-9471
- Details: This league runs Sept – June. Held at Academy Lanes, Haverhill
- Contact: Arc of Greater Haverhill Newburyport 978-373-0552
- Details: Weekly league at Academy Lanes Haverhill
- Contact: North Andover: Contact Special Olympics
- Haverhill Contact Special Olympics
Flag Football: Haverhill
- Contact: Contact Special Olympics
Special Olympic Golf
- North Reading Contact Special Olympics
Special Olympic Gymnastics for Girls: Middleton
- Contact: Special Olympics
Special Olympic Gymnastics for Girls and Boys – North Andover
- Contact: Special Olympics
Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm (Andover)
- Contact: 978-475-4056 www.ironstonefarm.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.
- Contact; Methuen Karate Association at 978-683-4287
- Details: All levels welcome.
- Dates: Monday’s 4:30 – 5:15
- Contact: Reading Recreation Department
- Details: Burbank Arena, Reading All skaters skate with a high school age buddy
- Dates: Saturdays December – February
Special Olympic Skiing: Bradford
- Contact: Special Olympics
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.
- New England Handicapped Sports Association – Mount Sunapee – Call (603) 763-9158
Unified Soccer: North Andover
- Contact: Special Olympics
Special Olympic Swimming: Haverhill
- Contact: Special Olympics
Social Skills Groups:
- Andover Counseling Center – North Andover 978-682-1579
- Futures Behavior Therapy Center – Beverly 978-969-2894
- Simply Social Kids – Tyngsboro 978-764-2758
Enrichment Programs and Camps Specific to Children with Special Needs:
Camp Triumph North Reading and Winchester
- Contact: https://triumphcenter.net/programs/therapeutic-camp/ or call 781-942-9277
- Details: This is a therapeutic recreational day camp for boys and girls age. 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.
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.
Fidelity House CRC (Lawrence)
- Contact: Fidelity House CRC, Lawrence (978) 685-9471 or www.fidelityhhs.org
- Details: programs include art classes, bowling league, other social /recreational opportunities as well as family support services. Programs for all ages.
Northeast ARC: (Danvers)
- Contact: www.ne-arc.org or 978-762-4878
- Details: Many year round social and recreational programs are offered including dances, swimming, arts/craft, cooking, etc Age 8-adult
The ARC of East Middlesex: (Wakefield)
- Contact: WWW.communitasma.org or 781-587-2200
- Details: Many year round social and recreational programs including art, theater, dancing, golf, tennis, cooking, etc
- Contact : Trish Earle at (603) 401-5907, email@example.com or www.bridgingthehorizon.org
- Details: Offers monthly social activities and dances for teens and adults
Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network (Salem, NH)
- Contact: Pediatrics at 603-893-2900 x 3230 or https://www.northeastrehab.com/services/supportive-learning/
- 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.
- For more information about Access Sport America, visit www.accessportamerica.org.
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
- Contact: 781-325-7980 or www.waypointadventure.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: www.theProfessionalcenter.org. or 978-475-3806
- Details: The PCCD offers a variety of summer learning programs and events for children and family members.
- Dates: Call for program details
The REC (Recreational Education Center ( Peabody, Chelmsford and Londonderry NH))
- Contract: http://www.recreationaleducationcenter.com/ or 978-717-5062
- Details: 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/
Kids in Disability Sports (K.I.D.S.) (Lowell)
- Contact: www.kidsinc.us. 1-866-712-7799
- Details: Large recreational program for all ages
- 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: www:kaleidoscopekids.com. or 978-474-6232
- 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.poolschoolplus.net
- 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
Center for Performing Arts North Andover
Philips Academy Ice Rink (Andover):
- Contact: www.andover.edu/ice/summer_prog.htm.
- Details: Many skating programs available from beginner to advanced.
Merrimack College Ice Rink Open Skate North Andover
Children’s Studio for the Arts (Andover Recreation Department)
- 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: Town of North Andover Community Programs
- 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.bostonjcc.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: (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
- Contact: www.Palsprograms.org
- Details: Overnight camps at college campuses around the country for teens and adults with Down syndrome.
- 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.bfcamp.com
- 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.org
- Details: Camp for physically, mentally and emotionally needy children and adults.
Camp Harkness ( Waterford, CT)
- Contact: (860) 443-7818
- 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.
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