Camp Lee Mar L.I.F.E. Program (Living Independently Functional Education)

Camp Lee Mar provides a well-rounded, speech, academic and vocational program for campers 7 – 21, closely following each individual IEP. As campers begin to age out of our camp program families frequently share their concerns with us about transition into adult life. Our campers excel during their summers at Lee Mar and families often ask us how best to use the many skills their children have gained at Lee Mar for future independence. The Lee Mar L.I.F.E Program offers the best of both worlds! Job Training, Independent Living Skills AND access to all the great activities and special events at Camp Lee Mar!

The Camp Lee Mar L.I.F.E. program is a transition program offered to veteran Lee Mar campers. The L.I.F.E. program allows participants to develop independent living skills and vocational skills within the secure, supervised, fun, camp environment. Participants in the L.I.F.E. program live in small private cabins (sleeping up to 3 campers and 1 staff person per cabin) providing age appropriate grouping with the least restrictive structure. The L.I.F.E. program has been developed to assist participants to live as independently as possible, for up to five summer seasons. We recognize that for older teenagers/young adults with social, emotional and learning differences to function independently (to live in an apartment and secure a job) they first need the functional education and experience required, followed by opportunities to master these skills in a safe, supervised setting. The L.I.F.E. program builds on Lee Mar’s educational program and previous skills campers have gained within our Academic Career Training Program. It also builds on the social skills/interview skills developed in our speech program.

The unique features that are built into our L.I.F.E program incorporate everyday living skills into a personalized daily program. We have a fully functional apartment specifically for this program with a large kitchen, washer and dryer, two bathrooms, a living room and bedroom.



L.I.F.E. Goals

The L.I.F.E. program provides a well-rounded learning experience that will focus on three key aspects: independent living, executive functioning skills and job training.

Participants will be provided a functional academic program to address needed skills for community living including;

  • Grocery shopping
  • Budgeting and money management (Bill paying, record keeping, personal bank account)
  • Community Safety
  • Preparation of meals
  • Organizing personal belongings and living area
  • Laundry
  • Home management, housekeeping and cleaning
  • Emergency first aid


Participants will be provided with job training and coaching including;

  • Completing an interview
  • Writing a resume
  • Completing job application forms
  • Job readiness skills
  • “On-the-job” training with a job coach


Participants will be provided a social skills/social training program within the speech department including;

  • Interview skills
  • Social skills within the workplace
  • Social skills in a shared living environment
  • Self-advocacy
  • Social Planning
  • Problem solving skills
  • Social safety (including online social media)
  • Communication skills/Phone skills

As a member of the L.I.F.E. program participants will earn one day off a week (for a total of 5 days off during the summer.) This will provide opportunities off camp for trainees to socialize together and will be arranged by the participants with staff guidance. Suggested days off would include movies, bowling, mall, etc . . . and would be fully supervised by the job coaches. The days off will provide functional opportunities for money management, decision making and a sense of independence while still under the watchful eye of our experienced staff. Participants will be encouraged to bring a small amount of spending money to camp for use on days off, to keep a “personal financial camp ledger” and to budget for the summer.

Eligibility for the L.I.F.E. Program.

To be eligible for the Lee Mar L.I.F.E. program participants must be 18 years old and have been a Lee Mar camper for at least one season.