John J Nerden RTC Camp - 89 Powder Hill Rd. - Middlefield, CT - Camp Phone: 860-349-9826

                                               Mailing Address: - P.O. Box 2617 - Meriden, CT 06451
" A Special Place 
        for Special People"
        Rebecca Hanlon
        Assistant Director
           (203) 631-2672
OUR PURPOSE - To provide recreational programs and
leisure-time activities for children and adults with special needs

          The John J. Nerden RTC Camp
   A Seven Week Day Camp for Children and Adults with Special Needs      
                          The John J. Nerden RTC Camp offers:
Swimming, Arts and Crafts, Music, Sports, Dances, Friendships, Special Events                                                     and
                              Lots of memories!

OUR HISTORY - The John J Nerden Regional Training Center Camp is located on 15 acres of prime land in the town of Middlefield. The land was donated in 1965.  The Board of Directors of the training center started work  immediately on planning a Day Camp program for the summer of 1966. Applications were made to the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for a grant to help establish the new camp, and were fortunate to receive one of the two grants allocated to the State of Connecticut in the amount of $3,000. The Foundation also assisted tremendously in the supplying of  information, advice, guidance and in sending of two key staff members to a one week seminar at Southern Illinois University.
On June 20, 1966 the camp site was a lovely hayfield. On July 6, 1966 the camp opened with a full program of outdoor sports, arts and crafts, nature study, etc. There were two buildings, one 30’x60’ closed building and one 24’ x 60’ pavilion type shelter. Our own pool was installed the second week of the program, so that all of the activities were then combined around the main building. We had a total enrollment of 144 campers ranging in age from 4 years to 31 years. They came from the areas covered by the local Associations. Daily attendance ran from 75 to 116 campers . Campers were supervised by a paid staff of 10, most of whom were college educated and  professionals in their fields.
WHO DO WE SERVE - Camp is open to children and adults with Intellectual Disabilities from the central Connecticut area.  We presently have enrolled approximately 125 individuals ranging in age from pre-school to adults. Transportation arrangements are currently in place for clients from Meriden and Wallingford; others can be investigated upon request. 
WHAT PROGRAMS DO WE OFFER - For seven weeks each summer full day recreational programming is provided at our Middlefield location. This program includes swimming, arts and crafts, music, outdoor recreation, cook-outs, and special events. During the winter months a variety of activities are available such as bowling, swimming, field trips, dances and holiday events
HOW ARE WE STAFFED - The Camp is proud of their dedicated staff and volunteers. With a certified Special Education Teacher as Director, each area of the program is supervised by one or two experienced college students or adults who make up our paid staff.  We have full-time  Nursing Supervision. In addition we are fortunate to have a large group of middle and high school student volunteers from our surrounding towns.  These fine young people play a major role in the camp’s total operation. Because of their dedication we are able to provide a high level of supervision while keeping our  total camp budget to a minimum. The operation of our camp is overseen by a committed Board of  Directors made up of parents, service club representatives and interested member of our communities. These Board Members volunteer countless hours to insure that our camp grows and continues to provide quality programming for our special needs population.

WHAT IS THE COST - In our attempt to keep costs down requests for funding are made to the communities through their recreation departments based on cost per camper day. These requests reflect the budget and number of campers who attended our programs the previous year.             Funding for program expansion, capital improvements, and special activities depends on the sponsorship of many local service organizations, foundations and individual donations.
WHEN IS CAMP OPEN - Our summer program runs through the months of July and August for seven weeks. The camp day is 9AM to 3PM.       Campers are welcome to attend for the full seven weeks, or to attend any portion that suits their needs or schedule. Winter activities are scheduled approximately  once per month from October through May.

WHERE IS THE CAMP LOCATED - The JOHN J. NERDEN RTC CAMP is located on Powder Hill Rd. in Middlefield, CT. The 15 landscaped acres, housing our recreational facilities, overlook Lake Beseck and the old Powder Ridge Ski area.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED - There are many ways you can get involved:
>>Share this information with a family or individual who might benefit from        our programs.
>>Let your local service clubs know about a worthy program they might               become involved with. (Presentations to clubs are available)
>>Spread the word that student volunteers are  always welcome and needed.
>>Make a tax deductible donation by sending back the attached form.
>>Call us for more information about how you can help.

Other News:
Program helps the jobless and people with autism - Meriden Record Journal - 8/16/09
Letter to the Editor August 23, 2009 - Camp Nerden - Meriden Record Journal 8/23/09
               Sue Chenard
At Camp Nerden It's A Family Affair - Durham and Meriden Patch 6/27/11

John J. Nerden Camp gets upgrades thanks to help from Spectra volunteers (video) Middletown Press 6/27/11

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Photo GalleryVolunteer Groups - PhotosFriends Of Camp NerdenTake Steps;Make Strides 5K

Challenge your co-workers, friends & neighbors! 
March 17, 2018 Race Start time: Noon
Benefiting: The John J. Nerden RTC Camp

1. Design & Build a sled of any size using ONLY cardboard, duct tape, paint and any adhesive. Wax is ok. 
2. NO metal or wood will be allowed. Use of any “illegal materials” will lead to immediate disqualification. 
3. Sleds must have at least one passenger and there is no limit to the number of passengers on a sled. 
4. You may have a rescue team “assisting the sled over the finish line”. 
5. A liability waiver must be signed by all passengers and participants. 
6. Helmets required for all sled passengers. 
Awards will be given out for best design, funniest, most creative helmet and fastest speed.
GREAT TEAM BUILDING AND LOADS OF FUN FOR ALL! Challenge your neighbors and businesses. 
Sign up your team - $100.00 entry fee for each sled. 12 yrs. & under category for families, $20.00 
The John Nerden JRTC Camp has just celebrated its 50th anniversary of serving the community and the special people within it. Supported solely by private funding from local businesses, civic organizations, clubs and individuals, dedicated staff make this camp an invaluable resource every summer for children and adults with special needs.