All of the HKC camps go out of their way to accommodate campers of all different stripes,especially Marvin’s Camp, run by the JCC of Staten Island’s Lillian Schwartz Day Camp.This program is for kids of all ages with special needs, but for the most part their day looks much like that of any other camper. There’s swimming, arts and crafts, weekly trips, and plenty of time with specialists in areas ranging from dance to sports to nature.
“The main difference…is that the ratio of staff to camper is much lower in the special needs much lower in the special needs division,and the staff have specialized training to work with special needs children,” explains Stephanie Feldman, co-director of the Lillian Schwartz Day Camp who has been working at the camp in various capacities for the past twenty-five years.
Marvin’s Camp works closely with the HKC to ensure a fun, safe camp experience for its charges,altering facilities as needed. In the past couple of years, this has allowed the program to expand rapidly in a number of ways. Most notably, to include non-ambulatory children, via accommodations such as
the specially-designed lifts at the pools which allow non-ambulatory campers to enjoy swimming with the rest of their friends.
Marvin’s Camp has no plans to stop expanding in the future. Feldman says that they hope to soon include more elements of community service and education in their program