2019 Camp Applications are now available

2019 Camp Harkness Application Online

2019 General Info Packet – 1-2-19

2019 Packet #1 – Camper Registration Forms

2019 Packet #2 – Guardian Authorization Forms

2019 Packet #3 – Medical Forms


Directions to Camp Harkness

Harkness Memorial State Park (230 acres) is a public park and botanical garden located in Waterford, Connecticut, on the Long Island Sound.  The park was formerly Eolia, the estate of Edward Harkness, heir to a fortune initiated by his father’s substantial investments in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, who purchased the mansion in 1907. From 1918 to 1929, extensive improvements were made by landscape designer Beatrix Jones Farrand. Eolia was left to Connecticut in 1950 and became part of the State Park system in 1952. Camp Harkness is a 102-acre parcel, part of the original Harkness Estate.  The property was donated for “public health.” The State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Disabilities [formerly the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR)] has administrative responsibility for the camp.

Our Goal:

The goal of UCPA’s Camp Harkness is to encourage the emotional and physical growth of the campers by providing a safe and meaningful residential camping program.

The Program:

At Camp Harkness, we recognize the ability rather than the disability of each camper.  We encourage active participation in boating, horseback riding, fishing, sports, games, swimming as well as arts and crafts. Special activities and field trips are planned for all ages, including outings to sporting events, amusement parks, museums, concerts, shopping and restaurants. The sessions for children and teens offer a more structured program, while the sessions for adults offer a more relaxed “vacation-like” atmosphere.


Scholarships are available so that no one with  intellectual or developmental disabilities will be denied the opportunity of going away to camp.  Through the generosity of donors, we are able to provide programs and services to those who may not otherwise be able to participate.  Financial assistance, to the extent possible, is available to those in need.

Please contact UCPA of Greater Hartford at (860-942-3039) for full details.

Our Facilities:

Camp Harkness, owned by the State of Connecticut, is the only Connecticut State Park that is designed to specifically meet the needs of people with disabilities. The grounds of Camp Harkness are fully accessible with numerous opportunities for campers to explore.  With a beautiful beachfront, open fields and miles of wheel-chair accessible trails, it is an amazing place. The grounds accommodate an equestrian riding stable, a sports and exercise course, a fire circle and multi-purpose area that can be used as a dining area, special events hall, theater and/or activity area.  Staff and campers share heated cabins with fully equipped bathrooms.


Camp staff consists of professionals, college students and international staff with skills and training required to plan and adapt activities for the individual needs and abilities of every camper. Staff fully supports each campers active prticipation in the fun and excitement of exploring new interests and activities while providing any needed care and assistance to accomplish daily routines. Staff provides assistance with recreation activities as well as personal care for campers of varying abilities.  All staff shares a common goal to dedicate their summer to serving people with disabilities with patience, understanding and respect. Nursing personnel are in residence at all times to assure the health and safety of all campers.

A Typical Camp Harkness Day
8:30 am – Breakfast 10:00 am – Morning Activity

  • Activity Choice #1 – Field Trip/ Outing
  • Activity Choice #2 – Sports and Games
  • Activity Choice #3 – Arts and Crafts
  • Activity Choice #4 – Horseback Riding
12:30 pm – Lunch
1:30 pm – Rest & Relaxation
3:00 pm – Afternoon Activity
  • Activity Choice #1 – Field Trip/ Outing
  • Activity Choice #2 – Sports and Games
  • Activity Choice #3 – Arts and Crafts
  • Activity Choice #4 – Horseback Riding
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:15 pm – Evening Activity
  • Campfire
  • Social Dance
  • Carnival
  • Cabin Party