Within small groups matched by age and skills, students are taught a range of concepts related to social learning and executive functioning, and then given practice implementing these concepts and related skills through gardening, cooking, and other creative and motivating activities capitalizing on the student’s strengths and interests. This dynamic approach has proven to be incredibly successful and highly rewarding for our campers and their families. The daily camp sessions are 2-3 hours, Monday-Thursday or for some groups, a full-day, one-week option may be available. 

Previous camp themes include: Dungeons and Dragons Camp, Live Action Role Play Camp, Build a Food Business Camp, Holiday Camp, Farm Fixer Upper Camp, Be a Farmer Camp, Farm Cafe Camp and Zombie Camp, just to name a few.

Camp Counselor Program: (Available for student’s 9th grade-Young Adult) The camp counselor summer camp program is intended for high school students who are aware of and have experience working on their social learning differences, and are motivated to continue their own learning.  Camp counselors participate in a camp session where they are a “camp counselor” and assist with a younger student group, as well as their own daily “camp counselor” sessions where they receive direct support. Camp counselor students further their own learning related to areas such as perspective talking, problem solving, asking for help, flexibility, social-vocational skills, as well as exploring and receiving feedback on their participation as a camp counselor. 

Social Vocational Camp: (Available for students age 16 through young adult) 

Participating in a social vocational program gives teens and young adults the unique opportunity to practice social skills in a setting that mimics a work experience, while working on job related skills such as asking for help, problem solving, teamwork and organization.  The curriculum, in addition to exploring the more sophisticated social underpinnings related to the work environment, bolsters self-esteem, and helps to empower students, allowing them to better persevere through challenging experiences. Previous Social Vocational Camp Curriculums include: Farm Coffee Shop, Farm Café, Farm and Garden Internship, Adulting Camp (preparing for or in the adult world).

Farm and Community Based Camp: (for teens)

A hybrid camp where teens spend time working on organizing details for group outings and social learning skills related to hanging out and advocating within the community.  There are many opportunities for personal problem solving and working as a team to navigate the community outings.    

Individual Sessions: 

We are able to meet requests for individual sessions after group camps are scheduled. These sessions provide an additional option to those students requiring specific instruction or in addition to camp sessions.

Other Educational Consultation: 

Our goal is to support families and their educational teams. We offer consultation services, which may include attending meetings, as well as consulting with parents and teams regarding IEP goals, services, etc.  During the summer, many families have benefitted from additional consultation services to explore how to better carry-over concepts and support social learning in the home and school settings.  The therapists are also available to consult with school teams about the student’s summer experiences, as well as goals and skills addressed.  Please contact Growing Social directly to inquire about these services.


Small group and individual sessions: A similar focus to our summer camp sessions, but for 1-2 hours weekly throughout the school year.  Both group and individual sessions are available, either in-person or online.  For older students, there is a heavier focus on independent living skills and social-vocational learning. 

Summer Camp sessions typically take place on a small farmstead in Watsonville, Ca, whereas school year services may take place at the farm, in Aptos CA, or via online sessions.


Unfortunately, we are unable to support students in the program who have significant behavior challenges (i.e., extreme defiance, physical aggression, bolting, etc.).   Depending on the student, we may be able to meet their needs through a shorter, more structured individualized program.  Due to the fact that this approach is rooted heavily in language, it is most appropriate for students who have strong verbal and thinking skills.  


Each session includes a strong parent component, as we believe this to be instrumental in carrying concepts over into the home and to the student’s support team.  A 15-20 minute parent wrap-up takes place at the end of each session in order to provide the information and concepts covered each day.  Parents are highly encouraged to attend these informative wrap-ups. 

… I just wanted to thank you guys for starting me down this path and believing in me.  I keep thinking back to the summer like 5 years ago when I was working with you guys… it put me on the right trajectory and now here I am.  I never thought I had enough chutzpah to launch myself down this track, but I just wanted to thank you guys because now I know I can do it.  

-Former Student and Camp Counselor