Camp Explore


Welcome to Camp Explore!

Camp Explore, a collaboration between the Levin JCC’s Camp Shelanu and TEACCH, is a week-long camp for teens with disabilities to explore a range of recreational activities. Every day will include an outing to a different location, walking or using public transportation, and going out to lunch together at various types of eating establishments. The curriculum, designed by TEACCH to complement life skills programs focused on vocation, will help teens develop the skills to access and use recreation.












Dates, hours, costs, and location:

  • 2020 dates: July 6th – 10th, July 13th – 17th, July 20th – 24th, July 27 – 31st
  • Participants may apply for one or more weeks
  • Hours: 9am-3pm, Mon-Fri.
  • Cost: $500 per week. Financial aid is available.
  • Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, downtown Chapel Hill

Apply now! 

  • Priority deadline has passed, but we can accept applications on a rolling basis as long as space is available.
  • Fill out the application
  • Have at least one person who works with your child fill out the Professionals’ Questionnaire
    • Ideally this is someone who sees your teen in a group setting, like a teacher, afterschool staff, social skills group leader, etc. If this is not possible, an OT, SLP, or other professional is acceptable.
    • If your professional is part of a practice that does not allow electronic transmission of patient information, email us for a paper version of the form.


  • Rising 9th-12th graders with a cognitive/social disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Best suited for Occupational Course of Study or Traditional High School track students.
  • Able to function in a 1:3 group ratio.
  • Able to participate safely and abide by our Behavior Agreement.
  • Able to change clothes, eat, and toilet independently.

Program Information:

  • Read our FAQs.
  • Program goals:
    • To learn about recreation opportunities and build recreation skills through outings like the library, museums, movie theaters, etc.
    • To help teens acquire life skills, such as using public transportation and going to restaurants.
    • To develop social skills by practicing spending time with peers doing age appropriate activities in public.
  • Daily activities:
    • Morning:  drop-off, ice breakers, and preparation for outing.
    • Mid-day: teens will walk or take the public bus to an activity and then to get lunch. Outings are designed to teach teens how to access free or low-cost recreational activities, as well as expose them to new kinds of recreation. Lunches will help teens learn and practice the steps of ordering, paying, and eating in different kinds of eating establishments, like the differences between ordering at a counter, from a table, or using a buffet.
    • Afternoon: return to camp, debrief, practicing individual and small group recreation like games and cards, and pick up.
  •  Staffing:
    • Two lead staff and 1-2 additional support staff for a group of 8-12 teens.
    • Lead staff are experienced EC teachers. Support staff may students studying OT, special education, etc.
    • Staff receive training, including CPR and first aid.


Contact us:

For more information about BRIDGES, the JCC’s initiative for people with special needs, click here.  For more info on Camp Shelanu’s inclusion program for kids ages 5-13, click here.