Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you choose the teens to mentor our kids?

Teens from Marin County high schools will complete an application and those will be individually screened by SummerAde staff. If you know an interested teen, please have them fill out a Teen Mentor Application and contact us. We would be happy to facilitate connecting your child with a specific teen. Parents of teens will be required to sign a waiver form attached to teen’s application. Teens will participate in a 2 hour orientation in the late spring. They will also attend training at the partner camp they will attend.  The orientation will be conducted by Dr. Tina Gabby, Founder and Director, Jordana Perman, mother of a child with special needs and our Community Liaison, and Allie and Gaye Roegiers, social skills specialists.

How do I choose a camp for my child?

Things have changed this season.  We have developed relationships with 5 Marin Partner Camps and will be providing Teen Mentors (TMs) at only those camps.  Inclusion Partner Camps look forward to welcoming campers with special needs. It is important to contact preferred camp to discuss the best placement for your child since there will be some capacity limitations. You will need to apply to both SummerAde and the Partner Camp. (See below.)

Many of these camps are large and may not be the best fit for your child.  Please look at all the camp options and pay special attention to the sub-specialty camps which tend to be shorter in duration and have fewer children in attendance. SummerAde discourages choosing camps with off-site field trips or that are in remote locations with little to no cell phone service.

Please note, we will be making matches for only 6 weeks this summer: June 19th through July 28th.

Our 2017 Partner Camps Include:

 How do we apply for SummerAde?

  1. Please identify one of the Partner Camps that you would like your child to attend and find several weeks your child might be able to attend.
  2. You will need to apply to the Partner Camp directly for your child.
  3. Fill out the SummerAde Camper’s Application which includes a liability waiver at the bottom of the application.  Make sure you check that box and press the “Submit,” icon.  Deadline for SummerAde Camper Application is April 15th but we encourage early applications to ensure a match.  For best match please describe your child’s special needs in detail on the application.
  4. We will be screening each child’s application carefully, may call you and will contact references to assure the suitability of your child to our program.  We will attempt to find an appropriate TM for your child and camp dates.  If a match is made, we will notify you so that you may contact the Teen Mentor directly to coordinate schedules.
  5. Parents are also required to call the Partner Camp Director to discuss your child’s special needs.  Please tell them you are applying for the SummerAde program.  Once matches are made, we will also be contacting the camp directly to tell them about the SummerAde Mentor’s attendance with your child.

We will be assigning Camper-Mentor pairs beginning early May.  We will notify you by email when a match is made.  All efforts will be made to match your camper for more than one week, if available

What if my child has more significant special needs?

There will be four weeks of camps offered for children with more significant special needs in collaboration with the non-profit Project Awareness and Special Sports (PAASS). Three weeks will be available at Mill Valley Recreation Camps (Camps Without Boundaries) and one week will be offered at the Marin YMCA (Beyond Limits). Please see those brochures for specific dates, or the PAASS website.

What is the cost?

There is no cost to the Camper or their family for the SummerAde program, though you will need to pay for your Camper to attend camp. All of our Partner Camps offer a limited number of scholarships.  If you are interested in a scholarship, please contact the camps as soon as possible to inquire.

How do I know my child will like their Mentor?

Once TM-Camper pairs are assigned, your TM will arrange an “in-person” visit with your child and family. During this visit, you may discuss any issues that will allow the Mentor to understand your child’s special needs. Mentors will also be encouraged to visit more than once if their schedule allows.  If you or your child do not feel comfortable with the teen, please contact the SummerAde staff and we will make every attempt to find another TM.

Toilet Trained Children 

Over the years, we have found that Teen Mentors are not comfortable managing the toileting needs of a child who is not yet toilet trained.  Therefore, we will not be able to accommodate the needs a child who is not toilet trained.


We will ask for all participating families and teens to complete an evaluation at the end of each week at camp. We welcome questions and comments at any time.

SummerAde Camper Parent Evaluation


Please remember, we depend on your donations to continue to provide this service without fees!  Donations are welcome now! Thank you!