Special Needs Camporee

Each year, the Chester County Council plays host to special needs troops and community organizations from Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. Most of the campers attending this program have combinations of developmental diagnoses such as autism and physical and mobility issues. There is a separate siblings program for family members of special needs participants. We pride ourselves on the ability of our camp staff to tailor every activity to serve the unique needs of each camper, in compliance with the guidelines of the attending organizations. Our volunteer-to-camper ratio is approximately 1:1, which allows us to offer a truly personalized experience for every participant.

The Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America, is proud to host the annual Special Needs Camporee (started in 1989), which this year runs on Saturday  June 22nd, at Camp Ware located on the Horseshoe Scout Reservation on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. Our program offers the traditional Boy Scout camping program, under the guidance of trained and caring volunteers. The Camporee is designed to offer attendees a one-day camping experience and is open to all families, boys and girls and is not limited to Chester County residents.

Arrival registration for day campers begins at 8 a.m. Departure time is flexible depending on each camper’s requirements. The day concludes with an hour-long campfire and program of skits starting around 7 p.m.  All meals are served family-style in the Camp Ware Dining Hall with the added enjoyment of camp songs, fun, and fellowship. Volunteers are always on hand to assist through the meal time.

The day program includes :

  • Leather and bead work, together with traditional scout crafts with a functional and sensory-twist.
  • FUN AND GAMES: After a review of the fire truck, campers gain hands on experience with firefighting equipment and enjoy competition using fire hoses to push an inflated ball across the other team’s boundaries.
  • ARCHERY: Our skilled archery staff use balloon targets and provide one-on-one guidance to participating campers.
  • OUTDOOR NATURE EDUCATION PROGRAM: Our volunteer staff provides hands-on interaction with the indigenous plant and wildlife of Camp Ware and Camp Horseshoe.
  • COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) This program includes bouldering wall-climbing modified to each camper’s abilities

Safety is our Top Priority in Scouting and Security is provided 24/7 throughout the weekend.  Our trained volunteer staff members range in age from early teens to mature adults. All volunteers know and follow the nationally recognized BSA Youth Protection Guidelines. A caregiver is required for each special needs participant

** Volunteer categories include :Archery, BB gun, Camp Cooking, Dining Hall, Guide (must know the camp), Handicraft, Nature, Pool (BSA or Red Cross Lifeguard), Security, and Anywhere I’m Needed. All volunteers will be required to be current with BSA Youth protection training before the event.

To register for the event as staff or for a participant: https://www.cccbsa.org/camping/special-needs-camporee/

To learn more Email: [email protected] Phone: 610-793-1001 (ask for Zack Bowen)

To make a donation to the Special Needs Camporee or for more information on ways to help underwrite the event please contact Kristin Conran, Director of Development at [email protected] or (610) 696-2900.