Camp Rising Sun was founded in 2006 by a group of parents and professionals who wished for a summer camp experience for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the state of New Mexico. In 2009, Camp Rising Sun became a part of The Autism Programs at the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability. The programs of Camp Rising Sun are accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA).
Camp is held at the established Manzano Mountain Retreat in the Manzano Mountains southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The site is accredited by the ACA. It takes approximately an hour and a half to reach the site from Albuquerque. For additional site information, go to www.manzanoretreat.com.
Camp sessions are designed specifically for children ages 8-17 years old. Camp Rising Sun provides an inclusive summer camp environment for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their same-age peers. Children sleep in male or female dormitories and are supervised by adults at all times.
Camp activities may include swimming, hiking, sports and games, arts and crafts, theater, photography and video, geo-caching, music, campouts, nature activities, high ropes and challenge courses, martial arts, and a variety of other activities. The camp also contracts with additional trained specialists to provide specialized programs which may include: horseback riding, kayaking in the pool, and other creative specialized programs.
Determination of camp to counselor ratio is dependent upon each child's needs. One to one staffing is available for those campers who need more supervision.
Volunteers are university students, community volunteers, and professionals from the community desiring additional experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum. All undergo a rigorous screening process including: reference checks, interviews, and criminal background checks. Most positions are volunteer assignments and may provide a small stipend.