*Camp Encourage's offices are located in Kansas City, MO, but camp sessions are held at Tall Oaks. Please send any written communication to our offices in Westport at 4025 Central, KCMO, 64111.

We appreciate your interest and encourage you to read through each detail below. After doing so and to express interest in attending our camps in 2021, complete a Peer Model Camper Application (which will be released on January 2, 2021). For more information about the overall camp experience, activities, and services, click here.


We're counting down the days! 

March 20-21, 2021
Overnight Session

Arrival: Saturday, 9:30am

Departure: Sunday, 4:00pm

June 16-19, 2021
Summer Camp Session

Arrival: Tuesday, 1:00pm

Departure: Saturday, between 10:00 and 11:00, depending on assigned group

July 21-24, 2021
Summer Camp Session

Arrival: Tuesday, 1:00pm

Departure: Saturday, between 10:00 and 11:00, depending on assigned group

October 16-17, 2021
Overnight Session

Arrival: Saturday, 9:30am

Departure: Sunday, 4:00pm


Peer Model Campers have an extremely important role at Camp Encourage. Not only do they enhance the lives of other children, they also walk away with new perspectives, enjoyable stories, new friends, and lifelong memories.

Peer Model Campers participate in Camp Encourage like all other campers. They reside in the cabins overnight with the campers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), participate in all camp activities, and are expected to serve as role models for the campers with ASD.

Peer Model Campers are not incorporated as “Junior Counselors” or helpers. Each is to interact with all campers, enhancing each child’s experience at camp and is NOT to isolate him or herself from the campers with ASD.


Our primary focus for growth for each Peer Model Camper is:

  • increasing each individual's knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • increasing each individual's appreciation of individual differences

Additionally, just as with our campers with ASD, it is our hope that following the overnight camp experience, our peer model campers:

  • increase skills of independence
  • enhance self-esteem
  • increase personal self-understanding and acceptance
  • gain a widening awareness of recreation opportunities and skills of recreation
  • make new friends


Any female or male, not on the autism spectrum, between the age of eight and eighteen may apply. Because Camp Encourage targets social and behavioral deficits often paired with autism spectrum disorder, peers selected need to demonstrate developmentally appropriate social and behavioral skills. Further, applicants must possess patience and kindness, demonstrate acceptance, and be understanding of differences.

If you are uncertain if this experience would be fitting, please contact us before submitting a Peer Model Camper Application.


After receiving and reviewing each Peer Model Camper Application, we will select applicants that we feel would be a good fit. Depending on the number of quality applicants, a lottery may occur. A small number of peer models will be needed for each age group of campers with ASD.

It is recommended you submit an application at your VERY EARLIEST convenience and preferably prior to the dates below. Although forms are welcomed throughout the year, it is strongly encouraged to submit prior to or on the following dates:


AUGUST SESSION: On or prior to July 1st

OCTOBER SESSION:On or prior to September 1st

NOVEMBER SESSION:On or prior to October 1st

DECEMBER SESSION:On or prior to November 1st

If submitting an application after the above suggested dates, it is strongly advised to contact us BEFORE completing and submitting the form to ensure that a slot is still available (and to save you from completing the lengthy form unnecessarily).

Forms received prior to or on the above dates will be considered within the first pool of applicants for each camp session. Forms received after each date will be accepted but may be placed on a waiting list.


Each fee covers the cost of preparation, training, activities, meals, and lodging. Compared to other quality camps with similar activities, our research indicates that this tuition is reasonable (and quite a deal).

Mini Camp Sessions: $185

Summer Sessions: $400


In addition to offering this camp experience at a low rate, we provide a small amount of partial scholarship funding to peer model campers. Because we are trying to support as many campers with autism as feasible, scholarship funding for peer model campers will be quite limited.

If a scholarship is needed for a peer model camper to attend, there is a chance that the applicant's needs will be considered if: 1) he or she has a parent volunteering at Camp Encourage and/or 2) if Camp Encourage is able to secure additional scholarship funding through donor support. Full scholarships will not be available.

Many fundraising opportunities are available for peer model campers to raise funds to go directly toward his or her tuition costs. Payment plans can be made as well. If seeking scholarship funding, the request can be made when completing the Peer Model Application.