Bridge Camp FAQs
How does Bridge Camp work?
Bridge Camp is an integrated overnight camp, where high school campers come to camp to help campers with special needs have a great camp experience. The high school students (Helper Campers) are paired with campers with special needs (Bridge Campers) and they share the camp experience together.
How do you staff the camp?
We use the same counselors for the whole summer at ECC, and each of them has been part of a three year training process at ECC. So not only do they have years of experience in leadership at the camp, but they have all experienced Bridge Camp before. They are familiar with our campers and how to care for them.
In addition to the 30+ counselors available at Bridge Camp, we have 10 adult staff that week who come in especially for this camp. They each have years of experience working with children and adults with developmental disabilities. They provided excellent training and support to all of our campers and staff.
How old are your Bridge Campers?
Bridge Campers must be at least 8 years old, but there is no upper age limit. If there is a person with special needs who would enjoy being at camp, they are welcome there.
Doesn't the range in ages make things a little awkward?
Actually, no. There is something really magical about Bridge Camp, and the fact that our campers are all ages adds to the magic. We have seen truly lovely friendships develop between our older and younger campers, and I don't think either age group finds it odd that they are at camp together.
Are the helper campers equipped to help the Bridge Campers?
Yes. Helper campers arrive 24 hours early for training. We also have lots of counselors and adult staff on hand to provide support when needed. Helper Campers and Bridge Campers are never alone without support from adults or counselors.
Where do the campers stay?
Bridge Campers and Helper Campers stay in cabins together. Bridge Campers stay on the bottom bunk (unless they request a top bunk!) and their Helper Camper typically sleeps in the bunk above them. There are three counselors in each cabin. The bathrooms are a short walk away, so the campers travel to the bathrooms together in groups.