What is the MAC program?

MAC is a recreational summer camp program where the focus is having fun in a supportive and inclusive residential camp setting. MAC is run in partnership with Frost Valley YMCA, one of the nation’s largest residential summer camps.

Frost Valley YMCA and YAI are leaders in their fields and are able to bring together neuro-typical and developmentally disabled children and young adults in a way it does not happen anywhere else.

Campers in the MAC program are included in the larger camp population, while still maintaining a camaraderie and pride in their villages. Within the MAC villages, there is a ratio of 3:1 (camper: staff) maintained at all times. This allows for additional support with ADLs (activities of daily living), navigating social interactions, and flexibility for each individual’s specific needs. Most importantly, we see campers in the MAC program self-defining as a part of the larger camp community, developing pride in their experience.





What is meant by Mainstreaming?
Who is MAC a good fit for?
How will my child be ready to go to camp this summer?
What kind of contact can I expect to have while my child is at camp?
What happens if my child wants to go home?
How do you handle bullying at camp?
Where will my child sleep?
Is laundry done at camp?
What will my child eat?
Do the camps administer medication?
How will my child get to and from camp?





What makes it special? Our counselors.

The people who make the MAC experience so special are almost all people who fell in love with the Frost Valley YMCA as children. These former campers return year after year to help others enjoy the same magical experience.

Alice Dannenberg
Alice DannenbergSupervisor
 Alice joined the YAI community in June 2016. Originally from Atlanta, Alice spent a lot of time exploring the mountains in North Georgia. Her love of bonfires and mac n’ cheese stems from her years working at a summer camp in Georgia. Prior to joining the YAI team, Alice managed programs at Best Buddies New York, an organization promoting social inclusion for those with and without disabilities. She also oversees YAI Leisure Trax, a vacation program for adults. In her free time, Alice enjoys exploring New York on her bike and watching baseball. Alice is excited about the many adventures ahead at camp! 

Kat Leonard
Kat LeonardSummer Onsite Supervisor
Kat started with YAI in 2016, she has worked at Frost Valley in various MAC counselor positions since 2011. Summer camp holds a special place in her heart and she enjoys sharing her love of camp with others. Kat graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Disabilities Studies and Cognitive Science. While at the University of Delaware Kat worked as a Life Skills Coach at the school’s Center for Disabilities Studies where she learned the importance of recreation in living a fulfilling life. She is excited about working with campers, families, and staff to create lasting summer memories!

Village Chiefs / Senior Staff
Village Chiefs / Senior Staff
Our senior staff oversee the overall functioning of our four villages. They provide on-going support to our counselors, initiate schedules and programming, and help maintain the continuity with Frost Valley YMCA’s understanding of how to best support our campers and their stay at camp. They also work directly with campers!


To apply for a summer position in MAC staff:




Our specially trained counselors provide additional support whenever necessary and are selected on the basis of their sensitivity, kindness and commitment to providing campers with a positive and joyful experience. All staff members have access to YAI’s acclaimed training and support programs.



Typical Day

Download a printable sheet of the typical day (pdf)

  • Wake up/ Morning routines (Activities of daily living ADLs) Go over the schedule
  • Flag-raising – announcements and recognition with all campers
  • Breakfast
  • Feeling good – Activities vary, group and individual projects supporting the goal of a social environment.
  • Sports and games – Interactive and fun activities where staff and campers get active!
  • Lunch
  • Rest Hour – Quiet time spent in the lodge.
  • Waterfront – A certified aquatic staff leads this instructional and recreational program on Lake Cole. Progressive swim lessons are available as well as canoeing, rowing, kayaking and a bunch of water toys.
  • Shower Hour – all campers rotate in and out of the bathroom at this time.
  • Specialties – These skill-building sessions are taught in 5-day blocks. Campers choose 2-4 specialties each session. Choices vary and may include a variety of sports, photography, radio, nature, arts, high adventures, hiking, and swimming.
  • Dinner
  • Evening program – Campfires, overnights, hayrides, dances, and astronomy are just a few things campers do.
  • Night time routines (ADLs) – Get ready for bed
  • Devotion – A time to bring the group together and close the day out while looking ahead to the next.
  • Lights out



Horseback riding lessons – Available all sessions

Designed for beginning riders of all ages, campers join Frost Valley YMCA’s qualified instructors for four one-hour riding blocks, focusing on meeting the camper at their skill level and comfort level while working on basic Western horsemanship skills in the arena and out on the trail. Riders work on proper mounting, dismounting, starting, stopping and steering the horse. Not available for campers participating in Farm Camp.




MAC is one of the best experiences of my son’s life. Feeling included is very important to him. Thank you for making his world a better place.
Kirsten, parent
Working in MAC helped transform my entire life. It had a positive impact not only on me personally but it helped me find a career path. I met some of the most amazing campers and formed friendships with fellow staff members that I will maintain for the rest of my life.
Matt Ryan, MAC staff 2004- 2008
MAC celebrates differences, silliness, and the power of summer.
We can’t say enough about how well-run this program is! From my very first phone conversation through the 12 days of camp I’ve been very impressed. An incredible combination of efficiency and warmth. And it all just felt like a fun, typical camp experience for our son. What a gift to all of us! And it really seems like everyone on staff loves what they do. No wonder everyone keeps coming back!
Susan, parent of first-time camper
I feel so grateful that Max has had this wonderful opportunity these past years to experience himself outside the restrictions/comfort zone of his home and family in such a safe and friendly environment. I think it helps all of us to have a little time apart and I know Max loves the adventure! Thanks so much!
Cindy, parent
This is the best program that I have encountered. The representatives are well informed and very professional, and extremely nice.
Thank you – my daughter had such a wonderful time at camp. She was very excited about all her new experiences and has shared the dances and songs/chants she learned.”
Parent of first-time camper
Thank you for providing such a great experience for Jack! We love that Jack can attend the same summer camp as his sister while getting the extra support that he needs!
Elaine, parent, summer 2006
Working in MAC was a life-changing experience. I hope it continues to have a positive impact on people for many years to come!
MAC staff
I worked in MAC because being part of an inclusive family felt like the best job I could have.
Alexis Cariello, MAC staff 2004-2009
MAC is a wonderful program that provides a great opportunity for growth and exploration for campers and staff alike.
I love MAC because I’m a grown man there.
Robert, Camper
When I see how independent my son can be at MAC, it lets me give him more room the rest of the year.
Parent of a camper
It is the best two weeks of summer!
Camper in MAC
I can not imagine working with a more wonderful group of staff and campers. All year I can’t wait for the summer to arrive.
Amani Danielian, On-Site Director 2013-2016
MAC has allowed my family an opportunity to discover one another’s talents and natural gifts. We thank MAC so much.
Parent of a camper
Working in MAC is undeniably one of the most valuable and enriching experiences of my life.
MAC staff
We are very grateful to all staff for providing a wonderful, safe and enriching experience for Justin and all of us! His counselor was absolutely terrific in helping him feel comfortable and more independent. Thanks to everyone who made this first sleep-away experience a memorable one!
Parent of first-time camper