Camp Red Leaf
Goals & Benefits

At Camp Red Leaf we believe that our weeklong and weekend programs can enhance the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers, while providing opportunities for campers to develop improved socialization skills and life skills.


Motor Skill Development  During summer camp sessions and respite weekends, campers participate in games and athletics that facilitate the development of gross motor skills, coordination, and fine motor skills. Campers play traditional sports like basketball, soccer, and kickball, as well as archery and participate in the low and high ropes course at the Glickman High Sierra Adventure Center.

New and Lasting Friendships  Camp Red Leaf has a vibrant social atmosphere. Each year campers reunite with old friends and also establish new connections throughout the course of each session. Counselors plan activities that accommodate each camper’s specific needs in a positive, supportive environment, which in turn fosters campers’ self-esteem, self-confidence, and emotional well-being.

Life Skills Development  Counselors guide campers in the development of critical life skills, which vary widely depending on each individual. These skills range from assistance with dietary habits, personal hygiene, and other basic, everyday skills. Counselors model acceptable behavior and use positive reinforcement to encourage each camper to attain his or her specific goals.

Respite Benefits to Families  Camp Red Leaf seeks to enhance the lives of campers and their families, in part by giving caregivers an opportunity to experience rest, to spend quality time with other family members and friends, and to use the respite break to meet their own mental health needs.


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For nearly three decades, Camp Red Leaf has opened its doors – and arms – to embrace thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities. One of only two American Camp Association (ACA) accredited camps that serve children with special needs in metropolitan Chicago, Camp Red Leaf is the only ACA accredited camp for adults with special needs in the region.


Sometimes seeing is believing, and we invite you to see all that Camp Red Leaf has to offer.

Feel free to contact Erin Newport at (847) 740-5010 or enewport@jcys.org to set up a time see our accessible campus!