Venture Together began its journey as Camp Venture in 1969 as a free summer camp for children with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The founding of this “venture of the heart” had its earliest roots in a parent’s group called the Exceptional Child PTA.
Kathleen Lukens was elected the first president of the Exceptional Child PTA in 1967 and, under her leadership, Camp Venture, was founded two years later.
From its first days in the summer of 1969, Venture was a community phenomenon. Bringing together not only kids with special needs and their families, the camp attracted volunteers from all walks of life who came to offer a few hours or a few dollars to this emerging grassroots effort.
In 1973, Mrs. Lukens and the other founding families were joined by John Murphy, a young political leader who would later be elected to the Rockland County Legislature and serve as the President of Camp Venture.
In 1976, the Venture Inn community residence opened. This groundbreaking program was among one of the first buildings specifically constructed as a community-based group home in New York State.
In 2021, the organization officially changed its name from Camp Venture to Venture Together. Throughout its 50+ year existence, Venture Together has established itself as a leader in providing services to children and adults with I/DD in Rockland County. Always striving to improve the lives of the people we serve, Venture continues its tradition of innovation and care.