Lions Camp Tatiyee
Lions Camp Tatiyee is the only organization in Arizona that provides individuals with special needs the opportunity to spend a week away from home in the White Mountains, enjoying activities and meeting new friends, all free-of-charge.
Lions Camp Tatiyee provides this unique experience to special needs campers in Arizona to empower them to grow socially, physically and emotionally by trying new activities and challenging personal limits.
Since 1958, campers at Lions Camp Tatiyee in Pinetop-Lakeside have enjoyed 88 acres of beautiful Ponderosa Pine forest on the Mogollon Rim. Campers have the opportunity to participate in a wide array of programs including hiking, fishing, swimming, go-karting, art, archery, recreation, nature exploration, cooking, mud pit, talent show, dances, and campfires.
Our Mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with special needs by providing a life improving experience promoting their emotional health, independence, self esteem and confidence, all free-of-charge.
We believe that everyone deserves to be accepted, loved and respected. Camp Tatiyee upholds the dignity of all individuals, at all times, by embracing their abilities by asking “how” rather than “if”.
We will work tirelessly to always strengthen the relationships we have built with our supporters throughout the years and we will expand awareness to ensure that Lions Camp Tatiyee remains financially stable and true to its mission for generations to come.
For More Than 50 Years, Lions Camp Tatiyee has hosted special needs campers ages 7 and up. We typically have ten week-long sessions each summer between between May and August, and each session is divided by age so that children and adult campers can experience everything we have to offer in their same age range. Additionally, we set up each session so that campers are with peers who face similar challenges, such as physically challenged, developmentally challenged and multi-challenged, as well as sessions for deaf and blind campers.
Challenges that our campers live with include, but are not limited to, spinal injury, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, amputees, deafness, blindness and developmental challenges. Due to the nature of Lions Camp Tatiyee, we are unable to serve most individuals with psychiatric illness, mental illness or anyone exhibiting aggressive behaviors.
Legacy of Service
In 1950, Lion Jim Busey had a vision to build a camp for individuals with physical and mental challenges. He traveled around the state of Arizona enlisting the support of all the Arizona Lions to construct and maintain a camp for kids and adults with special needs. Through his efforts and the Lions of Arizona, Lions Camp Tatiyee was established in 1958.
In 1960, the camp opened with a solitary cabin and 12 children. For over 50 years, the camp facilities have expanded significantly. Today, when the camp is operating at full capacity which is 76 campers per week, we can serve close to 600 campers per season. Camp facilities consist of 4 dormitories that can sleep up to 125 people in bunks, a dining hall with fully equipped kitchen, recreation hall with theatrical stage, indoor heated pool, art room, outdoor ramada, three staff cabins, nature trails, fishing pond, infirmary, baseball field, basketball court, and a sensory therapy room.
The steadfast support of the Lions of Arizona made this dream come true, not only through generous and consistent financial support, but also through hands-on contributions including building cabins, donating supplies, cleaning the grounds, and planning and hosting events. Camp Tatiyee is truly built of heart and soul.
And, most remarkably, throughout these years of service, the Lions of Arizona have NEVER CHARGED A FEE to attend. The camp is a 501(c) 3 non profit operating on donations from Lions, individuals, businesses, corporate sponsors and grants. Even in these difficult economic times, Lions Camp Tatiyee remains committed to providing an incredible camp experience free of charge to families.