Helping Hands offers 1:1 support for children with physical and/or developmental disabilities so they can enjoy a summer camp experience alongside their peers. The YMCA is here to make it possible for your child with special needs to make new friends, try new things and enjoy the exciting opportunities that are part of this experience.
As a camper attending one of our YMCA Summer Day Camp programs, your child can receive 1:1 support from trained YMCA Helping Hands staff. This support enables your child to be included in all aspects of regular camp programming. The YMCA Helping Hands staff are trained to attend to the unique needs of children with physical or developmental disabilities to support an integrated experience that facilitates friendships, skill development, independence and fun!
Which YMCA Day Camp programs offer special needs integration?
Special needs integration is available for all Day Camp programs offered by the YMCA in Hamilton, Burlington or Brantford. Children must meet the age criteria for the selected camp but after that, the choice is up to you and your child.
How much does it cost?
The cost is $297/week (pro-rated at $238 for weeks 1 & 6). This fee covers the camp program and the 1:1 Helping Hands staff support. If your child requires 1:1 support while riding the bus, there is an additional fee of $55/week (pro-rated at $44/week for week 1 & 6).
How many weeks can my child attend camp through Helping Hands?
You can register your child for a maximum of two weeks. Registration is limited to give summer Day Camp opportunities to more children. Additional weeks may become available throughout the summer.
How do I register my child in Helping Hands?
Step 1: Register with Reach for the Rainbow.
By becoming a registered participant, your child will then have access to the camps that are partnered with Reach for the Rainbow, including YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford. All Helping Hands registrations begin with Reach for the Rainbow registration.
As a new or existing registrant, you will need to express to Reach for the Rainbow that you are interested in your child participating in YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford Day Camps for the coming summer. Contact Reach for the Rainbow at (416)-503-0088 or visit their website at www.reachfortherainbow.ca.
Contact the Reach for the Rainbow Intake Coordinator for more information:
Tel: 416-503-0088 x. 114
Step 2: In consultation with Reach for the Rainbow, request the YMCA Day Camp program and weeks you would prefer your child to attend camp.
Step 3: After the camp weeks are confirmed with Reach for the Rainbow, fill out the YMCA Day Camps official 2017 registration form. Include "Helping Hands" under the camp choice next to the weeks confirmed.
Step 4: Fax, mail or drop off the registration form with payment to:
Manager, Inclusion Services for Children
79 James Street South, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 2Z1
Helping Hands staff will contact you as the next step toward in preparation for a fun and memorable Day Camp experience for your child.
About Reach for the Rainbow
Reach for the Rainbow is a registered charity developing integrated recreational opportunities that enrich the lives of children and youth with disabilities, their families and the communities in which the belong. In partnership with the YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford, Reach helps families navigate in terms of appropriate programs, funding inquiries, adapted equipment and accessible transportation. Reach provides staff training, consultation and resource visits to camps and recreational programs. Integrated experiences are created in a safe environment of belonging, while parents and caregivers receive respite.