The Women's Journal

Easterseals Camp Fairlee Celebrates 70 Years!

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By Natalie Scott

Of all the life-changing services offered by Easterseals, perhaps none shine brighter than those offered at Easterseals Camp Fairlee, outside of Chestertown, Maryland. Each year, hundreds of children and adults with disabilities come to Camp Fairlee to do things they cannot do anywhere else. For some, like John, it’s swimming in an accessible swimming pool. For campers, like Joel, it’s high-flying adventure soaring on the zip line through the trees, and for others, like Maria, it is canoeing/kayaking or fishing. 

Camp Fairlee fulfills a need for children and adults to have a safe and accessible camp experience like no other camp in the region. And, just as important, it also provides a break from caregiving responsibilities for the families of those campers. Last year, more than 360 individuals of all ages and with many varying types of disabilities enjoyed Camp Fairlee!   

Easterseals opened Camp’s doors in 1954 as “Easter Seals Camp Fairlee Manor.” In the last 70 years, Camp Fairlee has served over 30,000 families in our region. The historic property of Fairlee Manor was donated to Easterseals in 1953 as a 263-acre recreational camp for children and adults with disabilities by Louisa D’Andelot Carpenter, a du Pont heiress and philanthropist.

“We are excited to celebrate Camp Fairlee’s 70th year of service to people with disabilities,” Ken Sklenar, President/CEO of Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore, said. “Camp Fairlee has impacted the lives of thousands of campers and their families as well as the counselors who have come from around the world to serve at Camp. This anniversary year is a celebration for everyone.”

Easterseals Camp Fairlee is an unforgettable experience for people of all ages with disabilities. During a typical summer camp session, campers enjoy activities including horseback riding, nature trails, zip lining, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, arts & crafts, fishing and so much more. 

While campers rely on Camp Fairlee for adventure and independence in a nurturing and supportive environment, parents/caregivers who need respite care depend on Camp Fairlee for high quality, professional services. Each year camp counselors receive intensive training to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the campers.

“Camp Fairlee is a place for children and adults with disabilities to explore their independence in a supportive environment surrounded by peers. It’s exciting to watch the campers as they try to do things they’ve never done before and build friendships that last through the years,” said Sallie Price, Director of Recreation and Respite Services at Camp Fairlee. “For many families, Camp Fairlee allows them to enjoy their time of respite knowing their loved ones are in capable and knowledgeable hands.”

Learn more about Camp Fairlee, which provides a typical residential camp experience for children and adults with disabilities, at              or by calling 410-778-0566. 

Along with Camp Fairlee, Easterseals offers a range of services. Please visit their website to learn more about our services for people of all ages and abilities 

22242 Bay Shore Road, Chestertown, MD

Follow @EastersealsDEMD on instagram & @EastersealsDE on facebook and @CampFairlee on facebook

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