All children need a place.
Arts & Crafts
Finger paints, glitter and glue! Arts and Crafts allows campers to let their creativity shine! Whether it’s a car for the drive-in movie, making jewelry or simply coloring, Arts & Crafts can make anything happen!
Destination Fatima / Cafe Perk
The perfect blend of a coffee shop and hit tunes with a dash of Fatima surprise! Campers sing, play instruments, and entertain everyone who wanders in for an energy boost.
Bubble wands, sensory toys, hammock swings, and shaving cream make for a sensory-filled fun time. All of these activities take place in the “little cabin in the woods” at the bottom of the hill. Whether you need a place to chill or somewhere to get your sillies out, the Sense Room can meet the needs of any camper.
Splish splash! Lounge on the side of the pool, float with a noodle, or beat your counselor in Olympic water races. The pool is an ideal area to help campers and staff beat the heat.
Camp Fatima’s picturesque setting is a sprawling and open 110-acre campus with a combination of grassy playing fields, shaded outdoor areas, rolling hills and indoor space. Each activity area, including an outdoor pool, boating and fishing lake, arts and crafts barn and multi-purpose recreation building are adapted for campers and staff with access and functional needs. Cabins are situated in village settings, each with a bathhouse for male and female campers. Dining options include indoor or outdoor seating.
Summer Camp Application
Applications for the 2024 Summer Camp Programs are now open!
Summer Week 1: August 4-10 or Summer Week 2: August 11-17
Applications are due by March 31st. Applications must be at 100% to be considered complete.
Prospective campers and volunteers: a link will be available below when applications are active. When active, click link to register for CampDoc and complete the application. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting.
If you have any questions, please email: email@example.com
Summer Program Participant FAQ
How old does my child have to be to attend Summer Camp?
Your child must turn age 5 by August 1st of the year your child is applying to Camp. Following the NJ school special education regulations, we accept summer campers through the year they turn 21.
What is the application process?
You must first register with our online application platform, CampDoc. Then select the program(s) you are interested in attending and fill out all required information. Applications are complete when they show a status of 100%. Acceptances are not on a rolling basis. All applications are reviewed by staff after the deadline. You may be contacted by the directing team for an interview. Please monitor the email you registered with for an update on your camper’s application status. A link to our applications is available above, when active.
Where is Summer Camp?
Summer Camp is currently held at the Baptist Camp & Conference Center in Lebanon, NJ. We are not affiliated with the church, but we rent the gorgeous sprawling campsite every year for two weeks during the summer. Lebanon is in the western central part of New Jersey and can be accessed by major roads.
It is a large and accessible campsite with plenty of grass and many hills. See the attached map of the campground and feel free to look at their website for more specific information at http://www.camplebanon.com/.
How long do campers stay at Camp?
Campers get dropped off on Sunday and picked up the following Saturday for a total of 6 days and 6 nights. For specific dates each year, please visit our homepage.
What does a typical day at Camp look like?
We offer a variety of experiences throughout the day for campers and counselors to explore during scheduled times. An average day consists of music-filled meals, singing around the flagpole, a live daily stage play, and themed activities or challenges. For example, campers can visit arts and crafts, the pool, sense room, rec hall, and go boating in the lake. We also have dance parties, karaoke, cooking classes, nature hikes, campouts, village activities.
How many campers attend camp?
Typically, we accept 40 to 65 campers per week. The number we can accept for each week is based on availability and experience of our counselor applicants.
Is transportation to Camp provided?
Camp Fatima does not provide transportation. A parent or guardian must be available for drop-off and pick-up at the beginning and end of the week. If transportation is needed, we recommend you reach out to your Care Management Organization (CMO) or school to explore resources that might be available to you. Additionally, a guardian or emergency contact should be available to pick up a camper in case of emergency.
My child has a specific diagnosis or disability. Will there be other campers like them at camp?
Camp Fatima is unique because we accept campers with a range of disabilities. We encourage all children with disabilities to apply. If you have questions that are specific to your child’s diagnosis, classifications, or disabilities, please reach out to the directors for more information. You can find the emails for the directors on the application portal.
My child has friends accepted at Camp. Can they bunk together?
Best answer, possibly! We can have conversations about bunkmates, review staffing ratios and villages to make sure that it’s best for both parties and then decide where they might bunk. Once your child has been accepted, you can make the request through the director.
My child isn’t toilet trained. Can they come to Camp?
Yes, of course. Campers who need support with their toileting needs are welcome at Camp. Please be sure to indicate their care needs clearly on their application so we can best prepare. We have a swimming pool, so be sure to pack the proper swim diapers.
My child is non-verbal. Can they come to Camp?
Yes, of course. Campers of all communication abilities are welcome at Camp. Please be sure to share any type of communication strategies or abilities your child may have in their application so we can appropriately match campers with a counselor.
My child isn’t ambulatory. Can they come to Camp?
Yes, of course. The campsite is hilly, but we have accepted many campers in the past who utilize wheelchairs, AFOs, crutches, canes, walkers, or strollers. We will speak to you regarding your child’s needs to ensure we have the appropriate accommodations available for them.
My child can’t swim. Can they still enjoy the pool?
There is no wading or kid’s pool at the campsite. However, flotation devices are available. If your child uses a specific flotation device, we suggest you pack it for them. We have certified lifeguards at Camp. Sometimes other water activities are planned such as sprinklers, water balloons, baby pools, and water play in sensory buckets.
How will a volunteer be matched with my child?
Counselors and campers are matched after a thorough review process by the directing team. This process can take up to two months and decisions are made by the end of June. Factors considered in this review include previous volunteer evaluations, volunteer strengths, volunteer experience/credentials, camper/parent interviews, and camper files.
What type of training do the volunteers have?
Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds including high schoolers fulfilling service requirements, artists, executives, attorneys, and special education staff. Some of our staff members are bilingual, certified in ABA, American Sign Language, lifeguarding, and more. Volunteers are utilized where their strengths and abilities best serve the needs of our campers and programming. All volunteers receive general training prior to the week. Training includes rules, safety procedures, and volunteer expectations. Staff are always supervised. Alongside their 1:1 counselor, campers are supervised by resource staff members, the directing staff, and infirmary staff. New volunteers and new counselors will attend an orientation either virtually before Camp or on the campsite the day before the campers arrive.
What sort of medical support/care is provided at Camp?
The infirmary/medical staff is on the campsite 24/7 and easily accessible. The infirmary staff is led by an Infirmary Director, who must have at a minimum, (1) an RN degree with at least five years of healthcare experience, and (2) Camp experience or experience working with youth with disabilities. In addition, the Infirmary Director reviews all camper medical files prior to acceptance.
My child has dietary restrictions/allergies. How are meals managed at Camp?
Please document all dietary restrictions or allergies on your camper’s application. We have an assigned Special Diets cook who is responsible for managing all camper and volunteer dietary restrictions & allergies. Counselors will be briefed before the camper arrives if there are any allergies or restrictions. All infirmary members and resource staff also have this information on file to keep track during mealtimes. If a camper eats specific foods, we ask you to note that in the application and bring those foods on the first day of Summer Camp.
Can my child attend both weeks of Camp?
No, applicants are only eligible to attend one week per year.
Should I bring a gift for my child’s counselor?
All counselors and staff are volunteers at Camp Fatima and gratuity is not necessary. If you would like to bring a small token of your appreciation in the form of a card or small gift at the end of the week, please feel free! We think our counselors are incredible and are glad you do too.
What should I pack for my camper?
A packing list is sent to all accepted campers a few weeks before Camp, but if you are eager to start planning, think through a typical Summer Camp experience! We are in a rural area, so be sure to pack bug spray or bug repellant stickers/bracelets, sunscreen, extra socks/undies, shower shoes, toiletries for one week, bedding for a twin bed (plus a sleeping bag if you’d like), a pillow, sneakers, rain gear, towels for the pool and shower, pajamas, and warmer layers for cool nights,
Recommendation: Pack outfits in bags or gallon Ziplock bags so everything is easy to manage in the morning! A couple of extra outfits can help on hot or sticky days. You will be able to walk your child’s counselor through the clothing choices at drop-off.
Can parents observe or visit Camp?
Parents are not allowed to visit during the week at Camp. We know saying goodbye can be difficult, so we all ease into the week. You will arrive and have a decent amount of time to get your camper settled into their bunk, meet all the staff, take pictures, run through necessities with their counselor, and get lots of hugs and kisses before you depart.
The Camp Fatima Directors are available to you if you need an update during the week. You can stay updated with some of the events on our social media pages and your camper will come home with some great photos and treasures!
Can my child’s older sibling be their dedicated volunteer?
Siblings are encouraged to volunteer at Camp. We have had many siblings volunteer and attend Camp together and the week is always magical. Campers will not be matched with their sibling. It’s good for campers and staff alike to experience Camp independent of their family members.
What’s the camper to volunteer ratio?
At Summer Camp, each camper is paired 1:1 with a dedicated counselor. In addition to counselors, we also have a significant number of staff volunteers who assist general Camp operations, attend events with campers and counselors, and provide additional relief support to counselors, as needed. Our current ratio at Summer Camp is 3:1 (3 staff to every 1 camper).
My child has been to Camp in the past, why weren’t they accepted this year?
We understand this can be frustrating and we wish we had the resources to accept every applicant. Currently we accept about 40% of our camper applicants yearly. Camper acceptance is based on a variety of factors. Every camper is specifically matched with a counselor. We cannot guarantee acceptance year after year, but we encourage you to continue to apply.
Summer Program Volunteer FAQ
Why should I volunteer?
There are so many reasons why you should volunteer! Here are just a few benefits to volunteers:
- You get to be a part of a community of compassionate, enthusiastic, hard-working, service-minded people.
- Create life-long friends and connections!
- You obtain practical experience working and interacting with people with disabilities.
- Expand your worldview, learn about yourself, and help you become a more compassionate, thoughtful person.
- By volunteering at one of our Summer Camp weeks, you can earn approximately 168 hours of community service that can be officially documented upon request.
What type of volunteers do you need?
While you must be at least 16 years old to volunteer at Camp Fatima (with parental consent as a minor), we accept volunteers of all backgrounds! If you have an interest in public service or want to engage with individuals who have disabilities, you should think about applying!
Can I volunteer to be paired with a specific camper?
If you are applying as a counselor, the application will ask for camper preference. While it cannot be guaranteed that you will be assigned a specific camper, the resource staff will review your preferences and contact you if they have any questions.
Where is Camp?
Baptist Camp & Conference Center, located in Lebanon, New Jersey, is the campsite we lease out for both Summer Camp weeks in August. It is a large campsite with plenty of grass and many hills, but everything is accessible. See the attached map of the campgrounds and check out their website for more specific information at http://www.camplebanon.com/.
When is Camp?
Summer Camp occurs for two full weeks in August, referred to as Week 1 and Week 2. Volunteers are only able to attend one full week each year.
Do I have to sleep at Camp?
Yes, everyone who volunteers at our programs is expected to stay on the campsite for the entire duration of the program, which includes sleeping there overnight. All volunteers stay in cabins.
At Summer Camp, there are typically 16 people assigned to each cabin, which is split between two 8-person rooms for campers, their counselors, and other volunteers in both. Your cabin mates are your immediate support network throughout the week.
Can I volunteer for only part of Camp?
All volunteers are expected to stay for the entire duration of the Camp program to best support our campers and general Camp operations. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Director if notice is given far in advance. However, preference will be given to volunteer applicants who intend to stay for the entire week.
Can I get service hours for my school for volunteering?
Yes, by volunteering at one of our Summer Camp weeks, you can earn approximately 168 hours of community service that can be officially documented upon request.
What is the age range of volunteers?
You must be at least 16 years old to volunteer at Camp Fatima, with parental consent. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old to be a counselor at our Summer Camp program. There is no age limit for our volunteers!
I’ve never worked with people with disabilities before. Will you train me?
All new volunteers and counselors receive an orientation prior to camper arrival. This orientation includes staff specific operations information, as well as instruction on how to engage with campers appropriately and authentically throughout the week. Staff heads and resource members will continue encouraging and facilitating interactions throughout the week, providing guidance as needed.
Is Camp religious?
Camp Fatima of New Jersey is a non-denominational Camp. While it was modeled after a Camp that shares the same name and is associated with a group of Catholic Brothers, we are not affiliated with any religious entity.