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KOC Autism Programs

The Kinark Outdoor Centre (KOC) offers a variety of adapted traditional camp experiences and enhanced respite opportunities for children, teens and young adults on the autism spectrum. Each year, we have space for approximately 330 families in our three core autism respite programs. All families are different and are made up of different types of people, and at the KOC, they all share a common story related to a child’s autism diagnosis. Many of our visiting families have experienced some fear and some grief as they start on their treatment journey. We strive to bring families together in a non-judgmental and supported environment.

There are opportunities for both funded and fee-for-service programs for children with autism and their families at the KOC.

If you are planning to attend a program at the KOC, understand that the facility is a camp, and not a resort; that trying new things and new food pays off with new skills and new memories; and that meeting other families like your own can be empowering.

Not all families are ready for respite; and this type of immersive family experience is not for every family. The program coordinators at the camp will explain the program opportunities at the camp and help you decide if this is the right place at the right time.

The Autism Camp opportunities and the link to register are below. If you have any questions, please contact our Autism Program Supervisor, Leslie MacLachlan.

Autism Family Camp

Our Family Camp program is for the whole family. Families stick together as a family unit, and parents care for their children throughout the entire program, as there is no respite component to this program. The Family Camp program is a great opportunity for families to get away for a fun family vacation in a well-supported and inclusive environment. All families attending the program have at least one child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Throughout the camp, there are many activities and options offered by the KOC staff, including but not limited to: high ropes and rock climbing, archery, guided hikes, sensory gardens, family game time, arts and crafts, and waterfront activities (season depending) such as: swimming, canoeing, kayaking, pontoon boat rides, fishing, sand castle building and a sauna!

The cost for this program is $1000.00 per family for the 4-day, 3-night program. The cost includes all of your meals, accommodations and activities. A $300.00 deposit is due upon registration to hold your space in the program. This program is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here to see a sample schedule of the family camp.

Use the button below is to register for an autism camp program. If you have any questions, please contact our Autism Program Supervisor, Leslie MacLachlan.

Autism Summer Camp

This unique recreational program is geared to children and youth on the autism spectrum aged 9 to 18+ years of age.  Supported by a specialized team of outdoor educators, campers experience the joys of summer camp in a small group setting that focuses on individual strengths. As a strength-based recreational program, the KOC Autism Summer Camp builds on the interests and abilities of each camper, while encouraging campers to explore peer relationships, step out of their comfort zone, and learn about themselves by using the principles of challenge by choice. During the summer camp, our staff provide ongoing support facilitating personal growth through task completion, a secure learning environment in which to try new things and clearly defined expectations – all with an individualized focus. Our campers enjoy and try many activities during their visits, some of the many scheduled activities include: high ropes courses, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, archery, arts and crafts, campfires and much more.

Prior to the camp experience a member of our coordinator team will meet with potential campers and their families to ensure that everyone is adequately prepared for the summer camp adventure.

This overnight, all-inclusive 5-day, 4-night summer camp program is $2,050.00. This program is filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and once camper suitability has been determined and a program space allocated, a $700.00 deposit is required.

Use the button below is to register for an autism camp program. If you have any questions, please contact our Autism Program Supervisor, Leslie MacLachlan.

Autism Respite Camp

This program is a two-night program for the whole family and is a mix of both family time together and respite. Each family will receive 2, two-hour blocks of respite throughout the camp. During your family’s respite time, your children will be in the care of KOC staff in a small group and will explore the wonders of what the KOC has to offer. As a parent, you have the opportunity to use your respite time however you feel it would benefit you most. You may choose to join the parents program to network and participate in fun activities with other parents, or you may want to use your respite time to sleep, read a book, or go for a drive. The other portion of this program is Family Options. During Family Options, family members stay together as a unit to participate in some of the fun and challenging activities the KOC has to offer. Family Options gives your family the opportunity to try new things together and have fun while being in a supported environment.

Throughout the camp, there are many activities and options offered by the KOC staff, including but not limited to: high ropes and rock climbing, archery, guided hikes, sensory gardens, family game time, arts and crafts, and waterfront activities (season depending) such as: swimming, canoeing, kayaking, pontoon boat rides, fishing, sand castle building and a sauna!

Click here to see a sample schedule of the respite camp.

Registration to open late fall!