A uniquely structured inclusive camping adventure for individuals and families experiencing autism — all ages, all abilities.
The Friends & Family Camp is designed around the needs of those living with autism. Parents and caregivers can bring their autistic loved ones and relax with them over the weekend, knowing that they are in a safe and nurturing environment.
The Camp is KindTree’s founding event and the only event of its kind since 1997. The curriculum is a flexible but reliable balance of structured and non-structured activities, with picture schedules to accommodate autists’ visual and concrete way of thinking.
Scheduled activities include arts and crafts, karaoke, pinata, campfires, late night movies, concerts, talent show, “human car wash,” outdoor games, swimming and boating on Siltcoos Lake, and more.
It is a time for rejuvenation and solidarity. Autists are accepted and enjoyed for themselves, not forced into a procrustean neuro-normal mold. Autists and neuro-normal people get to know each other. Magic happens.
This is some of the greatest autistic fun there is.
Watch this beautiful video below, scroll down to read the comments and reviews.
Here is what some of the guests and volunteers have to say about camp:
“We have a great tradition every year – an opening and closing circle. People have a chance to see each other and learn names at the opening, and at the closing folks speak about what was their favorite aspect of the Retreat. Many people speak about the sense of family – of community that we feel there. This is what we at KindTree – Autism Rocks hope for. We do everything we can to make it possible for people to feel safe, feel loved, feel at ease. Like we’re all home now. Welcome Home.”
“I really don’t want to leave this camp it’s very good to me, friends, family. You meet lots of nice people just wish it was longer.”
“I had no idea what to expect from this camp and it exceeded expectations. This was an amazing experience and I feel blessed to experience such a beautiful community.”
“We look forward to this retreat all year for our son. He is only 7 but each year he recognizes his friends and this camp. He was so happy we had no melt downs, just wish we had a few more days, goes too fast, then it’s time to go back to the world of stares. Ugh don’t want to go.”
“Its great to network with my fellow spectrumites! The stim room was wonderful and stimmy. Life is good.”
“Thank you so much for the weekend. I do note that the retreat represents my first time doing long-distance driving solo since earning a licence to drive. I hope to return next year!”
“Thank you again for the opportunity to work with you guys out there, i know i speak for me and Amanda when i say that it was an incredible experience and we can’t wait until next year!!”
“Silly i just love sitting back and watching them doing the human car wash it’s too funny and silly.”
“Thanks so, so much for organizing such an amazing event. Everyone I talked to said this was their favorite year. The energy was beautiful there and Sam and I are for sure committed every year to come that we can! The arts and crafts were really fun!”
“It is so nice to have a place where all our children can network that have similar needs and interests. Camping is a lot of work and this allows us to enjoy being with our family and not get so stressed out.”
“I really enjoyed working here. I learned so much and had a wonderful time. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”
“This was great. When I count my blessings, this camp (and the volunteers) rank in the top 5!!! It was so fun this year. All of the hard work was very appreciated.”
“Every activity we participated in was a good time.”
“Thanks SO MUCH to Kind Tree and ALL the volunteers! I wish I could hug each and every one!!”
“I want to thank the volunteers for their hard work in making it fun for us!”
“PS Nathan had an absolutely wonderful time at camp this year! It was absolutely perfect this year according to his staff. How cool is that?”
“I came here just for a short lifeguard gig, and found this camp an amazing place to be and work with wonderful kind people. I would love to come back next year.”
“Gets better every year. I can’t wait to be back!”
“Thoroughly enjoyed the whole 3 days. Please put me on the volunteer list for other activities of Kind Tree.”
“We love that there is no hierarchy / differentiation between organizers, volunteers and guests. TR Kelly rocks! This Retreat makes me so happy I could cry!”
“Thank you for a great weekend – you’re doing a wonderful thing here.”