Youth Programs

About Our Therapeutic Recreation Program


Continued interaction with our environment is an important part of the human experience. That's why the Hampton Parks and Recreation Department provides a variety of programs to give disabled youth in Hampton the opportunity to participate in recreation and leisure programs.

Youth Assessment


For children being signed up for therapeutic recreation, professional staff completes an assessment to assure they are placed in a program that meets their needs. Youth with special needs can attend summer camps and experience arts, crafts, swimming, and field trips. At these camps, volunteer "Friends Helping Friends" are trained in ways to improve the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the campers. Common experiences, like completing a jigsaw puzzle or drawing a picture of your family, become an opportunity for joy and accomplishment.

Social Interaction


In addition, an after-school program at select facilities gives youth with disabilities the opportunity to interact in social settings. For instance, as the Phoebus High School football team conducts its practices, disabled youth contribute by bringing players the necessary equipment and assuring everyone has the water they need. The players can express their sincere thanks - and for the special needs youth, there is an important sense of being part of something they otherwise would not have experienced.

There are also social excursions designed to introduce these youth to experiences that many of us take for granted - such as finding common items in a grocery store and, with the help of a trained aid, accomplishing the task of counting out the money to pay for the items and receiving your change.

Parties, such an ice cream social at Buckroe Beach, provide a chance to hang out with friends and enjoy some tasty fun in the sun.

The Therapeutic Recreation Division offers programs throughout Hampton. Our programs are specifically designed for individuals with disabilities. By design, the groups are usually small and the participant-to-staff ratio is appropriate to the needs of the group.

Therapeutic Recreation Programs


Hampton Parks and Recreation welcomes individuals with disabilities to participate in all recreation programs and activities. Programs and activities are appropriate for all ages, interests, and skill levels. The activities are planned to meet the interests of the participants and maybe be individualized based on the assessment. Therapeutic recreation activities may include swimming classes, craft classes, trips, camps, adult programs, special events, and varied offerings every season.

Reasonable accommodations are provided to enable individual's successful participation in our general recreation program. A general recreation program may be modified using adapted equipment and or supported services, but the structure of the general recreation program, group size, and staff remain the same. A minimum of two-weeks-notice is required to ensure appropriate accommodations. Eligibility requirements (age, level of participation) must be met in order to participate in the inclusion therapeutic recreation program.
  • A minimum number of participants are required for all programs.
  • Participant must complete the assessment process before participation in a program.

After-School Inclusion Programs


An after-school program is available for disabled individuals who are 6- to 21-years-of-age and enrolled in Hampton City Schools. This fee-based program operates when the Hampton City Schools are in session.

Prerequisites: Ability to use the restroom with minimal support, ability to follow 1-2 step directions and have a desire to participate.

Target Population: Mild to moderate intellectual disability, physically disabled, learning disabled, moderate autism, and moderate behavior disorder.

Winter Break & Spring Break Programs


A full day program is offered during the Hampton City Schools’ spring and winter break. This is a fee-based program.

Prerequisites: Ability to use the restroom with minimal support,, ability to follow 1-2 step directions and have a desire to participate.

Target Population: Mild to moderate intellectual disability, physically disabled, learning disabled, moderate autism, and moderate behavior disorder.

Summer Programs


A ten week summer camp program is offered for young persons who live in Hampton, are 6- to 21-years-of-age and are enrolled in school. This is a fee-based program.

Prerequisites: Ability to use the restroom with minimal support, ability to follow 1-2 step directions and have a desire to participate.

Target Population: Mild to moderate intellectual disability, physically disabled, learning disabled, moderate autism, and moderate behavior disorder.

How to Enroll in the Therapeutic Recreation Programs


Registration is ongoing. Please call (757) 728-1710 to schedule an assessment for enrollment.

Assessments are by appointment only.

After receipt of the application, the staff will schedule a meeting to answer any questions about the program and to discuss the suitability of our program. School / program sites vary depending upon demand.