Play & Grow TogetherQuest's Camp Thunderbird is dedicated to providing recreational programs for children and adults.
This is their chance to learn new skills and focus on the remarkable things they can do, while making new friends and unforgettable memories.
Because of the physical and behavioral challenges associated with Down syndrome, autism, Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities, the opportunities for these individuals to relax, socialize and have fun are often very limited. Quest's Camp Thunderbird’s six and 12-day overnight sessions gives parents and guardians a break from the demands of 24-hour caregiving. For many families, this respite is their first chance to relax, spend time with friends, or even take a vacation knowing that their loved one is receiving quality care and attention.
Age-specific programming ensures that all the unique recreational and developmental needs of the participants are met.
Camp Thunderbird is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), which verifies that the camp complies with health, safety and program standards.
2017 Winter Season
|December 16 - 21|
Early Pricing Deadline
Application & Payment
Youth Program & Inclusion Program
Our youth camp program is one of only a few in the state of Florida with a specific focus on inclusion – where children of ALL abilities are able to play, learn and grow together.
For children with disabilities, the feeling of acceptance from attending camp alongside able-bodied peers is invaluable. Quest’s Camp Thunderbird provides the opportunity for these youth to learn valuable social and daily living skills. For children without disabilities, our program creates the chance for them at a young age to recognize others as individuals helping to create a more understanding community in the future.
The teenage years for individuals with disabilities can be a difficult time. Their able-bodied peers have begun the steps for life after high school that they may be struggling to achieve.
Our teen program focuses on what these individuals CAN do, while creating a fun and enjoyable environment that is more conducive to learning. Goals such as increasing independence and developing social and daily living skills are more easily achieved because they take on the challenges together and can relate to one another’s struggles.
Campers are provided with choices in their activities based on their own personal interests and preferences. Activities vary in type within the program and include arts & crafts, music & drama, aquatics, sports & games, and nature studies. Through choice programming, campers have ownership in their experience allowing them to create a schedule that best caters to their desired outcomes and goals.
Adult Program offers vacation experiences and social opportunities through retreat camping.
In comparison to other camp programs, our team serves “guests” vs. “campers” to create an age appropriate environment where independence is promoted and guest service is a focus. Participants have the opportunity to meet up to 80 individuals within the program – many of whom become lifelong friends.
Guests are provided with activity choices based on their own personal interests and preferences. Activities vary in type within the program and include active (sports, games), social (social hour, pool time), instructive (baking, dance classes), creative (fine arts, performance/dance) and environmental (nature studies). Through choice programming, campers have ownership in their experience allowing them to create a schedule that best caters to their desired outcomes and goals.
Quest's Camp Thunderbird's decision is based on present medical or behavior conditions and our ability to assure the adequate counseling and health staff for it. We are not equipped for individuals who do not have weight bearing ability, cause physical harm to fellow guests, require feeding tubes, Foley catheters, dialysis, ventilators or have a tracheostomy.
Quest's Camp Thunderbird typically provides one staff member for every four guests (1:4 ratio). If someone requires additional care (determined by the camp director), we may be able to provide a 1:1 ratio (at an additional $100 per day). This one-on-one supervision is tailored to meet the individual's needs and fully engage them in an appropriate and exciting program. Special needs vary in range and can include autism, Asperger's syndrome, ADD, ADHD, developmental delays, gross and fine motor delays, Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID), and genetic disorders.
**Did you know: when you refer a friend to Camp Thunderbird, you can save $100 on your camp registration? The person being referred must be a first-time guest and attend at least a 6-day session.
Take a look at some of our Summer 2017 session photos here:
Quest Serves Individuals
Denise considers Quest’s Camp Thunderbird to be her favorite place. She has attended every year since the facility first opened in 1969. As an individual living with a developmental disability, Denise has a limited number of recreational programs where she can enjoy herself and fulfill her social needs.
Denise has now participated in a variety of fun activities and has a foundation to improve her communication abilities, learn new skills and increase her level of independence throughout the years.
For Denise, living with her disability has also meant overcoming physical challenges. Her first few years at camp were spent using crutches to walk around. Growing older has made her more dependent on her wheelchair. As time went on, it was nearly impossible to maneuver her wheelchair through the sand-based sidewalks which left her unable to participate in many of the activities that had helped build her self-confidence for so long.
Denise was concerned she would have to leave the program. The turning point came when the Harper Family Charitable Foundation, a longtime supporter and friend of Quest, donated supplies and manpower to provide handicap-accessible sidewalks.
Denise, like many of the campers, have greatly benefitted from the support of foundations and company partnerships in our community.
What Parents Say
“I was worried Tanya wouldn’t last the entire time at camp, but she fooled me. When we picked her up, she said to us: "I’m coming back next year!.”
What Parents Say
“My daughter loves it. She loves the staff because they take good care of all of the campers that go there. She starts preparing to go back to camp the day I pick her up! I feel very comfortable; she’s safe and I’m satisfied.”
What Parents Say
“My wife and I were really touched this past summer when we picked Ashley up from her stay at camp. A large group of the staff counselors came to see her off (some were crying) and to tell us how much they loved having her at camp..”