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Aspire Summer Camp

Aspire offers a fun-filled therapeutic day camp for children entering 1st grade through age 15. Each camp day consists of a variety of recreational activities and therapeutic interventions to help children make social connections and maintain positive relationships with peers and staff. We use an interdisciplinary approach based on the fields of psychology, special education, speech therapy, recreational therapy and occupational therapy.  At times we integrate adjunct therapies, this summer we offered music, art and drama therapies. 

Our program goals are to help our campers:

  • Improve self awareness and acceptance of themselves
  • Develop pro-social behaviors and language through targeted social coaching
  • Learn how to establish friendships by breaking down this complex process into simple steps
  • Utilize more effective coping skills for anxiety and depression
  • Get opportunities to succeed throughout the summer


Camp Community

Aspire Campers

Our campers are children entering 1st grade through age 15 who have the cognitive capacity for solid peer connections but who lack the skill set to form these connections.  Typical diagnoses include Asperger's Syndrome, or related challenges. Applicants ages 13 and older may be eligible for our Teen or Young Adult Programs.

Aspire Staff

 Aspire’s Summer Camps are planned and coordinated by Genna Lyons, LMFT, M.S., Program Manager.

Most groups consist of 6 children and 2 staff, a Group Leader and an Assistant Group Leader. Each group is supervised by a Site Director or an Assistant Site Director. The staff are from related professions or in related graduate and undergraduate programs who take part in intensive pre-camp and ongoing training. Onsite supervisors, program specialists, and consultants support children and staff throughout the summer.

Aspire Families

Aspire is committed to working closely with families. We hold an Orientation Session and have Group Leaders call families the week prior to camp. We maintain regular contact with families using written feedback, phone conversations, and a mid-summer conference. We also send an electronic newsletter to our families with camp updates. Family support and resource groups meet at various times throughout the camp session. And, we provide a written report to families summarizing the goals and strategies found successful at camp.


Full Camp Program – 7 weeks
Dates: Mon. June 30– Fri. August 15, 2014 (closed July 4) 
Schedule: Mon, Tues, Thurs, & Fri from 8:45am to 2:45pm
Wed from 8:45am to 1:00pm
Locations: Hale Reservation and Charlestown

Short Day Program for 5-7 yr olds – 6 weeks
Dates:  June 30-August 8 (closed July 4)
Schedule:  M-F from 8:45am-1pm
Location:  Hale Reservation (Westwood)
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Charlestown Site: This site combines a variety of indoor activities in our beautifully renovated new space at the Boys and Girls Club and outdoor activities in Charlestown, with twice-weekly visits to our Hale Reservation site for outdoor recreation and activities.

Westwood Site:Home base is the Trading Post Cabin at Hale Reservation, which is made up of 1200 acres of woods, lakes and ponds with hiking trails, boating, “Floating Classroom”, fishing and swimming, ropes courses, environmental education, outdoor living, archery, and facilities for an overnight and cookouts. Hale Reservation hosts the largest day camp area in the United States, comprising 9 day camps each summer.

Application and Tuition Fees

Application Procedure

Once application materials are received, they are reviewed for potential fit with the program.  While spaces are available, applicants who may be a good fit are scheduled for an interview.
We value continuity with children and families and have a high return rate.  As a consequence, acceptance decisions are based on the match between the profiles of new applicants and the profiles of returning campers in a particular group.  Slots do fill quickly so it is recommended that applications be submitted early.

Application Fee A $75 non-refundable fee is required at time of application.

Summer Camp - 5-15 yr olds (7 weeks): $5,625
Short Day Camp -5-7 yr olds (6 weeks): $4,850
- Financial aid is available to families that qualify.

Application Deadline

Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received and on a rolling admissions basis.  

Application Form

Click here for Aspire applications

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For information please contact:
Aspire, 1 Maguire Road, Lexington, MA  02421

Telephone: (781) 860-1900
Fax: (781) 860-1920

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Meet the Staff
Genna Lyons, LMFT, M.S.
Program Manager, Child Programs

Genna Lyons is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 15 years of experience working with children on the autism spectrum and other related disorders.  She has Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island. Ms. Lyons started her work in autism-related care fifteen summers ago at Aspire’s summer camp and has continued her work in the field ever since.  Before rejoining the team at Aspire in 2011, Genna served as a citywide provider with the Newton Public Schools leading social skills groups, providing classroom consultation, and developing and leading faculty trainings regarding the implementation of social-cognitive learning into the general education classroom.

Genna is passionate about providing children with a safe place to grow as well as develop and maintain trusting relationships with families.  Genna aims to design programming that incorporates creativity and fun with opportunities for social, developmental, and self-regulatory growth.