Summer Camp

Residential Summer Enrichment Program



About Cradle Beach's Summer Camp Program

Cradle Beach's Residential Summer Enrichment Program, better known as "Summer Camp," serves the needs of children with special needs and children from low-income families from Western New York and beyond. We provide a healthy environment and organized activities to promote socialization, independence, and decision making in an atmosphere of love and acceptance.

Cradle Beach serves approximately 800 children every summer. Everyone at camp has the same opportunity to get a full summer camp experience, regardless of his or her life outside of camp. In fact, that's what makes Cradle Beach so unique. We're one of the few camps in the United States to integrate campers with and without disabilities and include kids from low-income backgrounds. Almost no child is turned away from Cradle Beach.

Although boys and girls are separated by cabins during at night, everyone plays, eats and attends activities together. Every day, children participate in "play stations." Play stations include basketball, swimming, arts & crafts, computers, drama and dance - the diversity of our program makes a difference!


boy jumping in pool at Cradle Beach2020 Camp Dates Coming Soon

Please note: PCs may come any session. More information about PCs may be found here



Frequently Asked Questions

How old are campers? Campers must be age 8 to 16 (inclusive). Each session, listed below, caters to either our younger or older campers. Campers age 14-16 eligible to be a PC may come any session. 

When is the application due? Campers are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and are accepted until all beds are filled. 

How long are sessions? Sessions range from 7-10 days - dates for each session are listed below. 

Can my child come more than one session in a summer? Unfortunately, children cannot come more than once per summer. Under special circumstances, PCs may be "called back" to a second session if openings are available. 

What if my child has a special diet? Special diets can be accommodated by our experienced kitchen staff. There is an opportunity for you to provide detailed instructions during the application process. If specific foods are required, you may be requested to provide these foods for the duration of your child's stay.

Can my child come if they are taking medication? Yes! We have four full-time nurses at camp 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while camp is in session, that are trained to dispense medication. Every child, regardless of whether or not he or she takes prescribed medication, needs to submit a current physical. 

What's a typical day at camp like? All campers begin the day together at Polar Bear Swim, after which everyone returns to their cabin to dress for breakfast. Mornings may include activities planned by each cabin's counselors, or play stations - a camp favorite. Lunch is followed by a siesta. Every afternoon children swim again, and have another activity planned by counselors. Dinner is followed by a camp-wide program, which may include a concert, whole camp kickball game, or scavenger hunt. Night snack completes the day, after which campers head back to their cabins to get ready for bed.  

What is a PC? The PC, or Pioneer Camper, program is a special program for 14-16 year old campers. More information can be found here

Can I visit my child during camp? We do not allow for visitors unless under special circumstances. Parents of first-time campers often arrange a check-in call with a counselor or supervisor during the first few days of camp.  If you don't feel your child is ready for a full session, we recommend you sign up for a Respite Weekend.

What should my child bring to camp? We recommend every camper bring the items listed on our clothing list. On the first day, all of your child's belongings will be labeled with his or her initials.

Can I request my child be in a cabin with another child? You may, but we are not always able to fulfill these requests. 

What is the camper-to-counselor ratio? Campers are placed in cabins based on the level of independence and assistance required. Cabins often range from a camper-to-counselors ratio of 1:1 to 4:1.