Special Needs

The KEEP program creates successful outdoor learning experiences for all types of students, including students with physical challenges, mental challenges, severe food and insect allergies, diabetes, and language barriers.

Before sending their child to KEEP, we advise parents of students with specific needs to call the main office with questions and to discuss their child's particular requirements. The student's teacher will have the contact numbers. This information will help us to make his or her week safe, comfortable, and fun!

While at KEEP, students are encouraged to participate in all activities. With the help of their medical shadow (a family member or school aide who provides full-time support), students with mobility needs generally participate in all hikes and in-camp activities. In fact, the KEEP program has an all-terrain wheelchair that allows students to fully access all the trails we use in our program. With the help of their shadow and a KEEP Naturalist, students are also able to explore tidepool, river, and mudflat areas.

The KEEP campus maintains a fully accessible cabin for students who need extra living accommodations. It has room for five students, a cabin leader, and a medical shadow. A fully equipped, wheelchair-accessible bathroom is attached for students who have additional privacy needs. All main KEEP buildings are also accessible, including the Dining Hall, campfire area, and Learning Center.

KEEP is able to accommodate medical needs and dietary restrictions, as well. In the case of severe allergic reactions or diabetes, a shadow will need to accompany the student to KEEP. When necessary, parents may provide alternate food options for their child. Once again, parents are encouraged to contact the main office to discuss the menu in greater detail. Also please refer to the Typical Menu.

The medical shadow's role is to facilitate participation for the student. They are not cabin leaders; instead, their sole responsibility is the well-being of the student. Shadows sleep in the cabin with the student, attend to the student's physical and medical needs, and go on all the hikes with the students. Shadows come to KEEP free of charge.

For a more personal perspective, take a look at a Parent Letter we received recently from a mother who accompanied her daughter to KEEP.
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