Just when we thought Nickerson State Park couldn’t get better with the Spaulding Adaptive Sports program, accessible yurts for camping, and of course the scenery- we heard about Dream Day on Cape Cod! Dream Day is a camp located about three miles into Nickerson State Park in Brewster, though it is not technically part of the park. This camp brings joy and respite into the lives of families living with disability and illness.
We were thrilled when we reached out to Dave, camp director, and he invited us to come by to see what camp was all about. Dream Day serves 56 families a summer with week long getaways for the quintessential Cape Cod and camping experience. Local Cape Cod and Island families are given priority though it is a first come first serve basis with applications rolling every February.
What to expect at Dream Day? Everything you would hope for in a camp experience- from arts and crafts, swimming, kayaking, boating, archery, sports, to camp fires and song! During the week families are invited on a whale watch and out to local Cape Cod beaches. But most of all, as Dave says, here at camp kids are able to just be kids. The focus isn’t on being different, hospital stays, and disability. Because everyone at camp has faced this, and for once campers and the families are in the majority. Families have the opportunity to connect with one and other and have a relaxing environment to bond as a family. Families are also allowed to opt of of any activities and take time to do things just as a family would on vacation.
Each family has their own accessible cabin which sleeps multiple family members, has a small fridge, as well as a bathroom. On site there is a baseball field, archery (with adaptive supports), a basketball court, and a playground with some really cool adaptive swings! There is also an amphitheater with a stage the perfect set up for camp fires and plays. Camp is set in the perfect location to many of Nickerson’s ponds for great water activities. There is no cost to families- there only responsibility to make it to the camp ground and have a blast! Camp counselors come from all over and make up a dynamic group of upbeat positive leaders for the camps activities. Some have hopes of becoming teachers, child life specialists, or entering the medical field.
Future plans include expanding the dining hall to hold more families. Dave mentioned they have just obtained 13 more acres and have hopes in coming years to expand greatly to serve more families.
If you’re interested in applying for the 2018 camp season or finding out more about the program check out Dream Day on Cape Cod’s website.