All Good News: 'RAD' camp helps kids with special needs during Covid-19 by going online, on the road with home visits

Summer 'RAD' camp switches gears during Covid-19 by going online and on the road to help kids with special needs.

Jessica De Nova Image
Friday, July 10, 2020
All Good News: Online, on the road summer camp helps kids with disabilities
Summer 'RAD' camp switches gears during Covid-19 by going online and on the road to help kids with special needs.

Many summer camps are not operating this year because of Covid-19 restrictions. But a camp that helps kids with special needs is still helping them by going online.

RAD Camp helps many children with special needs. RAD stands for Rising Above Disabilities. It also has RAD on the Road, which makes stops this year at just more than six dozen neighborhoods across Southern California. Campers and their families were worried it wouldn't happen this year because of the pandemic.

"We couldn't do nothing like that canceling altogether was not an option," said Katie Webb, Co-Executive director. "So we quickly started to figure what an online camp experience look like*

That's RAD Remote-- serving 117 campers. Themed days take them through adventures around the world. Concerts and skits showcase their talents; there's also a box of tools and instructions for projects.

"It really worked," said Janeal Williams, a parent of a RAD camper. "I mean every day she was excited to open those bags and I'm telling you when that truck pulled up, wasn't that the best day ever."

The activities are designed to help meet campers' needs over the week.

"Special education teachers, behavioral therapists, speech therapists... they were able to help guide us in the content that we were creating online to make it fully accessible for our community," said Meghan Clem, Co-Executive director.

"Our waiting list right now has over 400 campers that want to come to camp so this year we were allowed to invite them in so they all got a small dose of camp from their homes which was very cool," said Webb. "The real great thing that we're super excited about is we now have this foundation and this platform that we've built. The feedback was amazing and so we're going to keep it going."

There is still a waiting list for RAD Camp, but for 10 dollars, families get the friends of RAD experience. The co-founders say that gets you access to all of the camp content, and new uploads all summer long.