Camp Wannagoagain loses home for summer, scrambles to find new location

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — For years hundreds of kids and teens with autism have enjoyed a week of summer camp at Camp Wannagoagain.

Their camp experience was cancelled last year, because of the pandemic. Then came the news no family wanted to hear – the Autism Project was losing the space to hold their camp.

“They lose the site in Pascoag, Rhode Island, that was so generously given by the boy scouts,” Jason Cerniglia, father to a Camp Wannagoagain camper, said.

He wasn’t the only person concerned about the camp finding a new place to set up their popular summer program, his son Conner felt the loss of the camp last year.

“It was just waiting to see for it to happen at all,” Cerniglia added, “and where.”

There was much relief when the camp found a new home at Camp Hoffman in West Kingston.

“There really aren’t any great options where I live,” Cerniglia said, “so we tried to be proactive as a family.”

Camp Wannagoagain is a program designed to provide opportunities for real life experiences. A space to learn new leisure skills and the chance to meet new friends in a structured predictable environment with experienced staff, including sensory based activities.

Each year there are two, one week sessions.

The Cerniglias are thrilled Conner will be back for his fourth summer, something he and so many other kids and teens look forward to all year long.

“Most importantly, it’s going to happen,” Cerniglia said. “It’s so important that he will get to interact with other kids.”

Registration for the August sessions are still open and money raised from this past weekend’s virtual Imagine Walk for Autism helps fund these program every year at Camp Wannagoagain.

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