Respite Weekends


We are excited to announce the launch of Respite Weekends,
a new program here at Camp Wood YMCA!

WHO: Respite Weekends will be open to young adults ages 18-26 with special needs, with a focus on campers who have mild cognitive and/or developmental disabilities.

WHAT: The purpose of the program is focused on the following

  • Community: Campers will be part of a community that is their own.  Many campers are no longer in a school setting, so their social circles have become that of their parents/caregivers.  Respite will provide campers a community that belongs to them as an individual.

  • Ongoing personal growth: Campers will participate in workshops throughout the weekend that will focus on areas of ongoing personal growth in social skills, healthy living, and independent living skills.

This Respite program is intentionally programmed; it is not leisure recreation or a babysitting service.  Campers who refuse to engage in the Respite community or participate in the activities of the weekend will be referred to other respite services.  Campers who would not benefit from the workshops will be referred to other respite services.  Campers should be able to function within a 1:3 staff to camper ratio. Campers must be completely independent in the bathroom with all personal needs. 

WHEN: Respite weekends will run from 7:00pm on Friday night to 1:00pm on Sunday afternoon.

2019-2020 Respite Weekends:
October 4-6
January 10-12
March 27-29

WHERE: Respite weekends will be held at Camp Wood YMCA in Elmdale, KS, which is about 30 min west of Emporia.  Campers will sleep in camp cabins and participate in indoor and outdoor activities on our beautiful property. 

HOW: Please fill out the interest form.  After receiving your form, Kat Witt, our Support Specialist, will call the parent/guardian of the camper to get to know a little more about them and their goals and needs for the weekends.  An on-site visit may also be required if deemed necessary.

Cost for the weekend will be $150.  Financial assistance may be available for a portion of the registration cost.  We will work with participants’ support agencies so they may use some of their allocated respite funds towards these weekends at camp.  Campers’ parents/guardians are responsible for the communication with their state/support agencies.


Contact Kat Witt, Support Specialist, at or at 620-273-8641