Asperger’s Teen Summer Program

At Beyond Akeela we believe in experiential learning in a socially immersive camp setting. This core philosophy is ingrained in everything we do. Our program gives high school teens organic opportunities to practice the skills needed to thrive in college, with the scaffolded support of experienced staff mentors. Every day, campers build their executive functioning, self-advocacy, and social skills — all while forging deep friendships and building lifelong memories. Our high school teen summer program is intentionally designed to support young adults with Asperger’s or a similar profile (including ASD or autism spectrum, NLD or NVLD, and ADD/ADHD) as they transition to college and beyond.


Are you looking for a high school summer program for your teen with NVLD or Asperger’s? We’d love to chat and see how we can help!

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Progressive Program

There are three stages to Beyond Akeela’s high school summer program. Each stage is designed specifically to create age-appropriate experiences and opportunities for teens to engage in their post-secondary journey. As teens progress with Beyond Akeela, they are empowered with increasing levels of independence and responsibility, and challenged to to work toward and think critically about their post-secondary goals. Throughout the application process we discuss which program is best suited for your teen. Check out what a summer with Beyond Akeela will look like below!

Foundation (Grades 10-11)
Transition (Grades 11-12)
Post-Grad (Grade 12 - Gap Year)

Program Highlights

College & Job Readiness
Teens have opportunities to reflect on their college & job readiness as they begin to explore post-secondary options for college programs and careers. They are challenged to think critically about the type of support they will benefit from in a college setting and how they can advocate for and access it.

Leadership Skills & Teen Chats
Each teen is empowered to choose a Community Leadership project in which they will discover and develop their leadership potential. They engage in meaningful conversations with other teens on topics like social media, healthy living habits and relationships, and their post-secondary goals.

Philosophy

This group focuses on realizing their leadership potential and exercising their independence as they begin to explore post-secondary options. Through a mix of choice based camp activities, self-led community leadership initiatives, and opportunities to reflect on their post-secondary goals, this group lays the foundation on which they will build upon in the coming years as they approach college.

A Typical Day

Wake Up & Morning Prep
(7:30am-9:15am)
You are responsible for setting your own alarm each day and getting yourself ready for breakfast. We’ll also have a quick morning meeting which will be a refresher on what your plans for the day are.
Activity Elective 1
(9:15am-10:05am)
You can choose from a selection of specialty camp activities facilitated by Akeela staff. Options include, Arts, Dance, Music, Strategy Games (eg. D&D), Team Sports, Tech Tent, Tennis, Theatre/Drama, Wilderness Survival, Yoga/Mindfulness and more!
Community Leadership
(10:15am-11:05am)
You will choose a leadership track to follow while you are at camp! Past options include community service projects and planning camp’s evening activities.
Free Time
(11:10am-12:00pm)
This is a great chance to hang out in the dorm or around campus with your best friends from camp.
Lunch
(12:00pm-12:45pm)
Most of our lunches will be in the campus dining hall, and on day trips we typically have a picnic lunch while we are out. There are usually a few different choices for you to select from, and we work with the team of chefs to make sure there is something for everyone.
Rest Hour
(12:45pm-1:45pm)
You don’t need to nap!… but we do ask that everyone takes some time to relax in our dorm building to re-energize before the afternoon.
Activity Elective 2
(1:45pm-2:35pm)
See Activity Elective 1 above
Snack
(2:45pm-3:00pm)
Everyone gets together for a healthy snack as a community.
Health & Wellness
(3:00pm-4:00pm)
You will have the chance to exercise in a way you enjoy. Whether that’s going for a walk, run, swimming in the lake, or using exercise equipment, maintaining a basic level of active exercise each day is a good routine to build.
Teen Chats
(4:00pm-5:00pm)
You will engage in group activities on topics like healthy relationships, post-secondary goals, cooking/nutrition, social media, and others.
Shower Hour
(5:00pm-6:00pm)
This is a great time for you to email back and forth with family, clean up before dinner, and hang out in the lounge with your friends.
Dinner
(6:00pm-7:00pm)
You’ll have a chance to prepare two meals with a small group of camp friends. You will plan the menu, budget for the grocery store trip, and prep the meal as a team with as needed support from the staff. Dinner on other nights are at the campus dining hall.
Evening Meeting
(7:00pm-7:30pm)
As a whole community, we share announcements about the day and what’s coming next, and acknowledge the accomplishments of our friends.
Evening Activity
(7:30pm-8:30pm)
Evening activities range from nights out bowling to movie nights, and camper planned parties to talent shows.

Program Highlights

College Readiness
Teens learn more about the college application process with educational consultants and explore different post-secondary options on college visits. They are challenged to set goals for the upcoming year that will prepare them for a successful transition to college.
Madison Day Trip Part 1: Visit and explore two different college environments in Madison: The University of Wisconsin and Mansfield Hall.
Community Service & Career Services
Teens pick a service project THEY are interested in. They earn 10 service hours over the summer and walk away with something to add to their resume! Career Services deliver dynamic activities on mock interviews and resume building.

Philosophy

This group of teens sets action plans on how they are going to reach their post-secondary goals. With more flexibility in their schedule, they have more responsibility to manage their time at camp and gain opportunities to prepare meals in small groups. They enjoy a blend of exciting off-campus social experiences, field expert-led activities geared toward their post-secondary lives, and organic opportunities to hone their independent living skills on a college campus.

A Typical Day

Wake Up & Morning Prep
(7:30am-9:15am)
You are responsible for setting your own alarm each day and getting yourself ready for breakfast. We’ll also have a quick morning meeting which will be a refresher on what your plans for the day are.
Community Service
(9:15am-11:15am)
You’ll pick your community service location and gain job-like experience at that site over the course of several days of service work. Each day you’ll have a consistent group and staff member accompanying you, and receive instruction from a volunteer coordinator at your site.
Free Time
(11:15am-12:00pm)
This is a great chance to hang out in the dorm or around campus with your best friends from camp.
Lunch
(12:00pm-12:45pm)
Pending the day, lunches are predominantly in the campus dining hall, in addition to occasional pre-packed lunches to eat out of camp picnic-style.
Rest Hour
(12:45pm-1:45pm)
You don’t need to nap!… but we do ask that everyone takes some time to relax in our dorm building to re-energize before the afternoon.
Activity Elective
(1:45pm-2:35pm)
You can choose from a selection of specialty camp activities facilitated by Akeela staff. Options include, Arts, Dance, Music, Strategy Games (eg. D&D), Team Sports, Tech Tent, Tennis, Theatre/Drama, Wilderness Survival, Yoga/Mindfulness and more!
Snack
(2:45pm-3:00pm)
Everyone gets together for a healthy snack as a community.
Health & Wellness
(3:00pm-4:00pm)
You will have the chance to exercise in a way you enjoy. Whether that’s going for a walk, run, swimming in the lake, or using exercise equipment, maintaining a basic level of active exercise each day is a good routine to build.
Teen Chats
(4:00pm-5:00pm)
You will engage in group activities on topics like healthy relationships, the college application process, resume building, college visits, etc.
Free Time
(5:00pm-6:00pm)
This is a great time for you to email back and forth with family back home, get some rest, or hang out in the lounge with your best camp friends. More active options are also available each day, as you can use the exercise facility and other areas on campus at during this time.
Dinner
(6:00pm-7:00pm)
You’ll have a chance to prepare two meals with a small group of camp friends. You will plan the menu, budget for the grocery store trip, and prep the meal as a team with as needed support from the staff. Dinner on other nights are at the campus dining hall.
Evening Meeting
(7:00pm-7:30pm)
As a whole community, we share announcements about the day and what’s coming next, and acknowledge the accomplishments of our friends.
Evening Activity
(7:30pm-8:30pm)
Evening activities range from nights out bowling to movie nights, and camper planned parties to talent shows.

Program Highlights

Work Study
Each teen holds an on-campus internship during which they develop relationships with and receive meaningful feedback from their supervisors. They also gain exposure to a college classroom environment, led by collegiate faculty, and develop a strong understanding of the differences in learning expectations between high school and college.
Travel Planning
Teens are actively engaged in setting itineraries and making plans for various group outings, including overnight and day trips.


Philosophy

The focus for Post-Grads turns quite literally to “What’s next?”. Their next steps in life require more self-advocacy and independent decision making, and they are provided opportunities to practice those skills in a safe environment. Post-Grads gain real experiences in college classrooms and work environments, and are given the tools to navigate their daily schedule independently.

A Typical Day

Wake Up & Morning Prep
(7:30am-9:15am)
You are responsible for setting your own alarm each day and getting yourself ready for breakfast. We’ll also have a quick morning meeting which will be a refresher on what your plans for the day are.
Internship
(9:15am-11:15am)
You’ll pick an on-campus or community-based internship and gain meaningful job-like experience in an area of interest. You’ll get feedback and coaching from a Beyond Akeela staff member along the way, and have opportunities to learn how to leverage the experience on your resume and in interviews.
Free Time
(11:15am-12:00pm)
This is a great chance to hang out in the dorm or around campus with your best friends from camp.
Lunch
(12:00pm-12:45pm)
Pending the day, lunches are predominantly in the campus dining hall, in addition to occasional pre-packed lunches to eat out of camp picnic-style.
Rest Hour
(12:45pm-1:45pm)
You don’t need to nap!… but we do ask that everyone takes some time to relax in our dorm building to re-energize before the afternoon.
Activity Elective
(1:45pm-2:35pm)
You can choose from a selection of specialty camp activities facilitated by Akeela staff. Options include, Arts, Dance, Music, Strategy Games (eg. D&D), Team Sports, Tech Tent, Tennis, Theatre/Drama, Wilderness Survival, Yoga/Mindfulness and more!
Snack
(2:45pm-3:00pm)
Everyone gets together for a healthy snack as a community.
Health & Wellness
(3:00pm-4:00pm)
You will have the chance to exercise in a way you enjoy. Whether that’s going for a walk, run, swimming in the lake, or using exercise equipment, maintaining a basic level of active exercise each day is a good routine to build.
Teen Chats
(4:00pm-5:00pm)
You will engage in group activities on topics like healthy relationships, advocating for accommodations in college, mock interviews, etc.
Free Time
(5:00pm-6:00pm)
This is a great time for you to email back and forth with family back home, get some rest, or hang out in the lounge with your best camp friends. More active options are also available each day, as you can use the exercise facility and other areas on campus at during this time.
Dinner
(6:00pm-7:00pm)
You’ll have a chance to prepare two meals with a small group of camp friends. You will plan the menu, budget for the grocery store trip, and prep the meal as a team with as needed support from the staff. Dinner on other nights are at the campus dining hall.
Evening Meeting
(7:00pm-7:30pm)
As a whole community, we share announcements about the day and what’s coming next, and acknowledge the accomplishments of our friends.
Evening Activity
(7:30pm-8:30pm)
Evening activities range from nights out bowling to movie nights, and camper planned parties to talent shows.

Activity Highlights

  • Outdoor Adventure: Day hikes, white water rafting, challenge courses
  • Health & Wellness: Exercise opportunities, swimming, yoga/mindfulness
  • Camp Activities: Choice-based activities in the arts, boating, outdoor adventure, sports, strategy games (D&D), and theatre
  • Group Outings: Bowling, farmer’s markets, mini-golf, museums
  • Community Fun: Talent shows, campfires, game nights, movie nights

Teen Trips

Travel opportunities are essential to the social experience of our high school teen program. Each teen will have the opportunity to participate in the trips below:

Overnight Camping Trip (1 night) – There is nothing quite like sitting by the fire under the stars surrounded by camp friends, and of course having some s’mores too! This trip is an optional trip that campers register for prior to camp.

Day Trips – Groups have opportunities to explore local towns independently, and experience the culture of their surrounding communities. Past destinations include Brattleboro, VT, Northampton, NH, and Keene, NH, along with attractions like Canobie Lake Park and Kimball Farms in Westford, MA.

Boston Trip – The last few days together will be shared on a 3 night trip to Boston! We’ll see the best the city has to offer. Campers will enjoy opportunities to see the New England Aquarium, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Museum of Science & Industry, and explore Boston’s great history!