The Importance of Play
Young people need to have opportunities to be engaged in interactive play, through which they learn to interact with others and feel a sense of belonging. They feel empowered in a safe and supportive community that allows them to learn new skills, and to explore their values and beliefs. These opportunities help shape their thinking and attitudes.
Positive experiences away from home will help them build confidence and self-esteem. Our participants will be able to apply their learning in their home communities with the belief that they are capable to influence their own future in a positive way.
Our youth and teen programs serve children with a variety of chronic medical conditions, and their families. Medical conditions include (but are not limited to): asthma, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, epilepsy, heart defects, hemophilia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, severe allergies and skin conditions.
Youth Programs (Ages 6- 13)
Monthly Programs –Program Flyer
Nearly every month of the school year we offer diverse program days to unite our community and provide opportunities for play, discovery and bonding. Program days may be a Friday Night Out or a Sunday afternoon located at different venues throughout the NH Seacoast region.
In the Spring and Fall, we offer an overnight extension of our monthly programs for our oldest youth campers (ages 10-13). These experiences give campers a chance to further bond as a group, gain a sense of independence and give parents additional respite time.
Summer Day Camps
Currently we offer two weeks of day camp in the NH Seacoast region.
- Explorers Camp (ages 7-13): July 6-10, 2020;
- Camp runs daily from 8:45 am – 4:15 pm at various state parks in the NH Seacoast area
- Summer Day Camp (ages 6-13): July 27-31, 2020;
- Camp runs daily from 8:45 am – 4:15 pm at YMCA Camp Lincoln in Kingston, NH
For a preview of what to expect, View Our 2020 Summer Camps Flyer
Camp Spinnaker – Youth with Asthma – August 16-21, 2020
- A one week overnight camp program for youth ages 8-12
- Onsite support and oversight by our medical staff team
- Location: AYF’s Camp Merrowvista in Center Tuftonboro, NH
For more information about Camp Spinnaker, please visit our Program Calendar.
Quarterly Teen Programs (Ages 13-15) – Day and weekend programs provide an opportunity for teens to extend their connections in our supportive peer community. We alternate Teen nights and day programs with weekend getaways throughout the year. Contact us if you are interested and we will add you to the Teen mailing list for updates.
Leader In Training (Ages 16-18) – Our “Skyhawk” Leader In Training (LIT) Program is in its inaugural year! For participants who have been involved in our program for multiple years, this is an amazing opportunity to give and add value to the Zebra Crossings community. As a Skyhawk, teens will serve and support the community, while exploring their strengths, character and leadership skills and setting personal goals for growth. As teens graduate the Skyhawk Program, they will feel confident moving into the next chapter of their life, ready to be a leader in any community and an advocate for those who have a chronic medical condition.
Family Weekend Programs
Camp Blue Sky Families – Down syndrome – April 4-5, 2020
- A weekend retreat launched in 2011 to provide families who have a child with Down syndrome a supportive community
- Location: AYF’s Camp Merrowvista (our program partner)
- For a preview of what to expect, view our 2020 Camp Blue Sky Flyer
Heart Family Camp – Congenital Heart Defect – August 7-9, 2020
- Launched in April 2016, this weekend retreat provides a supportive community for families of children (ages 2-12) with a Congenital Heart Defect
- Program partner: It’s My Heart New England Chapter
- For a preview of what to expect, view our 2020 Heart Family Camp Flyer
Betsy’s Camp (CLOVES community) – June 25-28, 2020
- A long weekend retreat for people with CLOVES syndrome and their families to provide a supportive community and networking opportunities with peers
- Program partner: CLOVES Syndrome Community
- For a preview of what to expect, view our 2020 Betsy’s Camp Flyer
General Admission Guidelines
Our goal is to empower as many participants as possible, help them to pursue their goals and to realize their full potential within our program objectives, staffing model and resources.
To ensure the safety and well being of all participants, our general admission guidelines include that participants must be able to:
- Shower, toilet, dress and feed themselves independently and with minimal supervision
- Walk 150 yards unassisted and without extreme fatigue – the use of a wheelchair to aid in transitions may be considered
- Verbally communicate their needs with our staff
- Participate in group activities supervised at a 1:8 staff to camper ratio level
- Have a completed Medical Provider Form indicating the appropriate activity level for participation 2020 Heart Family Camp Flyer