First-Timers Ages 6-14 & Returners up to 16+
A shorter camp experience designed to support youth on the Autism spectrum.
Three Campers smiling at Camp Starfish
Two Campers smiling at Camp Starfish
Two Campers smiling at Camp Starfish

Program Overview

The Havvago program is specifically designed to support the needs of campers on the Autism spectrum. Youth ages 6-14 are invited to “have a go” at experiencing the excitement and fun of overnight camp in a structured, safe, and nurturing environment designed to set children on the spectrum up for success.


For 5 days and 4 nights, campers will enjoy all the fun of camp – swimming, boating, crafts, nature exploration, campfires, cabin life, and much, much more – while building their social skills, independence, and self-confidence. Campers in the Havvago program travel with their bunkmates and cabin staff through a carefully planned calendar of activities, allowing them to try many of the activities that camp has to offer at least once.

Two Campers smiling at Camp Starfish
Two campers doing activities at camp starfish

Throughout the day, campers are presented with natural opportunities to work on social and communication skills. Additionally, they sit down each evening with their “goals buddy,” a staff member in their bunk, to discuss ways they worked on their skills during their daily activities, and ways that they could try to improve their skills the following day.

Staff in the Havvago program are specifically trained on how to best support campers with Autism; they are knowledgeable about the characteristics of Autism including sensory needs, communication challenges, and social difficulties. With the 1:1 staff-to-camper ratio, campers are always able to take a sensory break when they are overstimulated. Likewise, having a staff-buddy by their side allows campers to form meaningful relationships with peers; staff encourage campers to introduce themselves to others and hold give-and-take conversations that include the interests of both campers. Lastly, Starfish staff are specifically trained on de-escalation techniques and how to support campers through challenging situations.

Please note that the Havvago program is not the only option at Camp Starfish for youth on the spectrum; many campers with Autism attend other programs at Starfish! However, it is a great option if you are looking for a camp experience that specifically attunes to the needs of children on the spectrum. When determining whether the Havvago program is a match for your camper, please refer to the “Is it a Match?” section on page 4 of the Camp Starfish Guide to Programs.

Havvago Review

Campers smiling at Camp Starfish

“She LOVED it and I think it really helped build her self esteem heading into a new school year and a brand new school. She was doubting herself at the time and came back from camp feeling like ‘she was worthy.'”

– Camper Parent

What to Expect

3 Meals/Day

Outdoor adventures

Friendly staff




two Campers smiling at Camp Starfish
campers at Campers smiling at Camp Starfish
1:1 Programs
Specialty & Respite Programs

About Our Facility

Our property is split between two villages we call Star and Fish (Starfish!) and several smaller unique housing spaces. In the villages, our rustic wooden cabins provide the traditional camp experience.

Starfish boasts over 1/2 mile of shoreline on beautiful Lake Monomonac and has direct access from several private beaches.

Photo of Camp Starfish signs on a tree
Three campers rowing on kayaks at Camp Starfish
Photo of Danielle Lubbers

Danielle Lubbers

Danielle joined Camp Starfish in the spring of 2023 as Camp Director. Originally working with the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Danielle has ten years of experience providing programming to children, outdoor skills training for adults, and directing overnight summer camp experiences.

In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her two-year old Dalmatian, Mia. Danielle’s favorite activity at camp is raft building, as she enjoys seeing campers and staff work together to complete a team goal. Her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is “We are here to learn, grow, and have fun!”

Staff photo of David

David Mahnken

David Mahnken is Camp Starfish’s Mental Health Consultant. He provides staff training each summer on topics such as self-care, trauma-informed care practices, and health & wellness. David also provides support and consultation to the organization throughout the year. David holds a BA from St. Olaf College and an MSW from Simmons University. David is a LICSW who works in emergency services in addition to his own private practice in Massachusetts.

Prior to becoming a social worker, David’s first experience at camp was as a counselor in the early 2000s before becoming an administrator and member of the year-round team. His favorite camp activity is swim-I (swim instruction), and his favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We make camp a safe place.”

Staff photo of Joe

Joe Clark

As the Assistant Director at Camp Starfish, Joe is a seasoned professional who is well-versed in all aspects of camp life. With five years of summer work at Starfish, he brings extensive experience and expertise to the camp year-round. Joe is from the UK, and holds a degree from Keele University. Joe works as a support worker in the UK, providing care to individuals with disabilities, since 2019. Joe also engages in volunteer work, including spending three months in Abrobiano, Ghana.

Joe is known at camp for his charming English accent, which campers often try to replicate! His favorite camp activity is playing soccer (football) on the field, and his favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “I take responsibility for my actions.”

Staff photo of Rachel

Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts is the Director of Staff Experience at Camp Starfish, responsible for all things staffing and groups. With a degree in Anthropology, and a Certificate in Global Citizenship from Franklin Pierce University, Rachel brings a unique perspective to her role. She oversees hiring, onboarding, retention, and staff appreciation for the 100+ seasonal staff at Camp Starfish each summer. Rachel has been a part of the Starfish team since 2016, working in various seasonal roles. She joined the Year-Round Team full-time in 2022.

As a lifelong New Hampshire resident, Rachel enjoys hiking in the woods with her dog, Clover. Her favorite camp activity is Free Play, and her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We respect each other’s differences.”

Staff photo of Kristie

Kristie Martin

Kristie Martin is Camp Starfish’s Program Director, responsible for ensuring that each camper receives a structured, supportive, and fun program during both summer and year-round weekends. With her degree in Applied Psychology & Human Development from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, Kristie has a deep understanding of child development and uses this knowledge to create a nurturing environment for all campers.

Kristie grew up in the Monadnock region and takes pride in being a local. Kristie’s favorite camp activity is the Camper Talent Show, which she believes is the perfect opportunity for campers to showcase their skills and feel comfortable sharing with the community. Her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is, “I try my best, I do not have to be the best.”

Staff photo of Sarah

Sarah York

Sarah York is the Director of Operations at Camp Starfish, joining the team in the Spring of 2022. She brings with her a wealth of professional experience working in both mental health and human resources. Sarah’s role at Camp Starfish is crucial in ensuring that camp runs smoothly, and she is available to assist families every step of the way through the registration process. If you call the Starfish office, Sarah will likely be who you speak with first!

With her dedication to helping others and her commitment to creating a positive camp experience for every child, it’s no wonder that her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We are members of a team.”

Staff photo of Jamie

Jamie Mahnken

Jamie Mahnken is Camp Starfish’s Executive Director, and has been an integral part of the Camp Starfish community since 2010, serving in a variety of roles. With a degree in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University, Jamie is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for every camper, staff member, and volunteer.

As a North Carolina native, Jamie enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Her favorite camp activity is kayaking to Blueberry Island, which is a meaningful and memorable experience for many campers, as well. Jamie’s favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “I am flexible and open to change.”