Our Respite Saturday program serves children and young adults with special needs with a focus on building skills and developing confidence through new experiences. Expect arts and crafts, bounce houses, dance parties, outdoor adventures and additional activities provided by S.A.F.E and Camp Orchard Hill.


  • Kindergarten and up
  • Lunch and snack provided
  • Covid-19 Safety Protocols in place
  • Professional Staff and RN Onsite
  • Registration & Health Form required through Camp Orchard Hill
Need more details?
Email [email protected] or call us with questions (570) 333-4098.

The Need

There is a tremendous need within the community of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities for parents/caregivers to have a reliable and consistent break.  A moment, a morning, an afternoon, knowing your child is in a safe environment can be life changing.  There are not many options if any these parents can turn to, except to rely on their own small/capable circle.

According to a recent report from the US Health and Resources Services Administration, 14 to 19 percent of U.S. children have a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition.  According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) an estimated 16.8 million unpaid caregivers provide care to a child with special needs under the age of 18 in the U.S.  However, a survey conducted by the NAC stated that eighty-one percent of family caregivers of children with special health care needs do not use respite.

While the NAC survey did not ask why family caregivers did not use respite, such barriers have been well documented.  They include cost, restrictive eligibility criteria, waiting list, limited or no respite options, accessibility, inadequate supply of trained providers or appropriate programs, lack of information, or feelings related to lack of trust of outside providers (National Respite Coalition (NRC), 2010).

The Benefit

This Respite program will provide the reliable, consistent and necessary time for self-care that is essential for parents/caregivers.  And, the Respite program will provide new opportunities to the participants.

Intended Outcomes for Parents

  1. Relief from the constant stress of caring for a special needs child
  2. Time to care for marriages and friendships
  3. Opportunity to balance their own physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs
  4. Opportunity to get away for a day or overnight to relax, recharge and rejuvenate
  5. Opportunity to meet other parents and develop friendships and support with people who understand their unique challenges

Intended Outcomes for Children

  1. Increased confidence
  2. Independence
  3. Activity and exercise
  4. The opportunity to interact with other children, developing friendships and building relationships
  5. Positive role modeling by adults

Our Program

Summer: Completed Kindergarten – Completed 9th grade (Campers with 1:1 services remain eligible for summer programs while they are eligible for school services – generally age 21)

Respite during the summer months is extremely important while school services are limited.  Camp Orchard Hill provides an enhanced Respite Program to serve individuals with special needs as well as their parents/caregivers.  From June through August, parents can register their special needs child for 10 days of respite care through our Day Camp program.  This program provides individuals with the opportunity for two days of respite each week or any arrangement that combines up to 10 days.  Parents/caregivers benefit from a reliable and consistent break.  Individuals benefit from increased activity, new challenges, and the opportunity to participate in activities alongside their typically developing peers.

Campers must be able to navigate uneven terrain and be potty trained or provide an agency caregiver to assist with the task.  If a camper is eligible for behavioral support services in the school setting, they must have that same support for the full time they are at camp.  Campers with 1:1 services remain eligible for Best Week Ever summer programs while they are eligible for school services (generally age 21).

Off Season: Kindergarten – Age 21

Throughout the remainder of the year, Camp Orchard Hill provides a monthly Respite Saturday program staffed by Behavioral Health Technicians, aides, nurses and other professionals as needed.  Special needs individuals are well supported and appropriately supervised.  Individuals benefit from increased independence, activity and exercise, the opportunity to interact and develop friendships, and the chance to engage with positive adult role models.

Opportunities for overnight respite may be available throughout the year.