Camp Firefly

Brighten your Summer!

Once school is out, many parents of children with emotional and behavioral issues have limited resources and options for summer activities, especially those that provide an exciting and social environment. Our summer camp offers the perfect solution.

Camp Firefly offers a unique summer camp experience to boys and girls, aged 9-18, who have been diagnosed with social disorders, such as Social Anxiety, OCD, PDD, Asperger's Syndrome, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, and High Functioning Autism. Presented in partnership with JCC's of Chicago, Camp Firefly is located just minutes from Wisconsin Dells at JCC's Camp Chi.

For the second year, Camp Firefly was awarded a grant from Autism Speaks to provide scholarships to financially disadvantaged children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to attend summer camp. To date, five Firefly campers have benefited from the funds provided by Autism Speaks.

An Overnight Camp Experience

Camp Firefly provides unique life-enriching overnight camp experiences for children, teens and young adults, with Asperger’s Syndrome, Social Anxiety, Autism and other social disorders, needing more support in social situations to foster friendships and positive social interactions. Our low staff-to-camper ratios create positive summer experiences for campers, positioning them for success within a broader typical camp environment. Our overnight camps occur at JCC Camp Chi Overnight Camp in Lake Delton Wisconsin.

  • Enjoyable new experiences making days lively and  gratifying
  • Individualized attention promoting skill development
  • Appropriate therapeutic and supportive assistance building confidence
  • Camp environment fostering personal growth and boosting independence and self-esteem
  • Activities inspiring social/emotional development
  • Camp community encouraging social bonds and new friendships

Camp Firefly (ages 9-14)

We understand that many children with special needs have never been away from home. Located at the award-winning Camp Chi, in Lake Delton Wisconsin, our safe and trusted overnight camp provides the support and attention that new campers need to adjust to an unknown environment, adapt to cabin life, and have the most fun they can!  Participants explore who they are and come home with greater independence and meaningful life lessons and friendships. Daily schedules include therapeutic group activities with smooth transitions with appropriate time for breaks, keeping your child’s comfort in mind.

Firefly A: July 16-21, 2018 (ages 9-14)
Fees: $1,575

Firefly B: July 22-27, 2018 (ages 9-14)
Fees: $1,575

Firefly Teen Camp (ages 14-16)

Teens, 14-16, can enjoy a summer camp experience designed especially for them. It combines the security of Camp Firefly Overnight Camp at Camp Chi with additional programs of specific interest to adolescents. The teen camp curriculum includes opportunities for mentoring younger campers, doing a service project and participating in a special teen-oriented field trip. Group activities are designed to build friendships and hone social skills while exploring issues specific to teens.

July 16-27, 2018 (ages 14-16)
Fees: $2,535

Firefly Next Step (ages 17-18; for graduates of Firefly Teen Camp)

Young adults, 17-18, who have graduated from the Firefly Teen Camp, will have the chance to further continue developing their confidence, autonomy and socialization skills through vocational programming.  Young adults will be able to participate in the much-loved camp activities with the addition of vocational placements, organizing camp activities for younger campers and special outings geared towards independent living.

July 8-27, 2018 (ages 17-18; must be a graduate of Camp Firefly Teen to participate)
Fees: $3,815

How do you sign up for Camp Firefly?

To begin the registration process or call toll-free, 855.ASK.JCFS (855.275.5237). Parents needing to reach camp during session should call the Camp Chi office at 847.763.3551.

Interested in working at Camp Firefly?

Camp Firefly is always looking for energetic, fun-loving individuals with experience working with children with special needs to staff our camps. We are seeking highly qualified, compassionate, and energetic camp counselors.

Applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, so candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Interested candidates should complete the online application. If you have questions, please contact Elizabeth Robbin, Camp Firefly Director, or call 847.412.4363.

Why work for Camp Firefly?

Each summer we have a terrific group of counselors and staff! Some of our staff grew up attending overnight camp, while others experienced it for the first time as Firefly counselors. Our staff is made up of college students, graduate school students, social workers, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, educators and people who just want to try something different. Even with all of their different life experiences, interests, religions and backgrounds, they all have one thing in common: a commitment to working with children and teens with social disabilities in a camp setting.

Camp Firefly counselors will...

  • Participate in all camp activities and organize and manage daily schedules and activities, and facilitate camper friendships
  • Provide a positive and enriching community where campers can build self-confidence, self- esteem, independence as well as strong group relationships
  • Ensure that campers’ daily needs are met

Camp Firefly Requirements...

  • 20 years of age or older
  • Experience working with youth with special needs
  • Leadership qualities and able to manage and facilitate small and large group activities
  • Visual and auditory ability to identify and respond to environment and other hazards related to camp activities
  • Desire and ability to work with children, adults and peers in an overnight camp setting
  • Initiative, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, professionalism, sound judgment and a caring personality