At MDA camp, kids with neuromuscular disease discover a world created specifically for them, and meet many other kids sharing the same needs and experiences. MDA campers dream about summer camp all year and often say it’s better than Christmas; some even say it’s changed their lives. Almost all campers agree that it’s "the best week of the year."
MDA camp offers a fun and safe outdoor experience, along with opportunities to engage in a variety of activities such as horseback riding, swimming, adaptive sports, arts and crafts, camp dances and much more. In addition to all of the fun and friendship it offers, MDA camp enables campers to stretch their comfort zones and grow in independence as they spend a week away from home; permit someone other than their parents to provide personal care; and make new friends. Sure, there’s an abundance of fun and games at MDA camp, but if you talk to MDA campers, they’ll tell you the real benefits come in a much subtler form — the lifelong friendships, the increased self-esteem and confidence, and the chance to spend at least one week of the year in a place where physical disabilities are the norm rather than the exception.
For parents and guardians, MDA camp provides a brief break from their roles of caregiver for a child with neuromuscular disease. It's a place where parents know they can send their children for a week of summer fun and, at the same time, be assured that their child’s medical and physical needs will be met by a team of dedicated health professionals and trained camp volunteers. MDA staff and volunteers assume all camper care, including physical and emotional support, allowing parents much-needed time to attend to their own needs and, in some cases, spend some special time with the camper’s siblings.
Thousands of youngsters attend MDA summer camp each year at no cost to their families. For more information about supporting MDA camp in your area, please contact your local MDA office.
If you’re a camper, parent, volunteer or sponsor, please share with us your thoughts on why MDA camp is so special. Send your MDA summer camp story via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special note for parents:
We were hesitant to send our 7-year-old son to his first weeklong MDA camp, but everyone at camp from the MDA staff, to the doctors/nurses and all the counselors reassured us R.J. would be very well taken care of. We were happy to learn that every camper had his own counselor for the entire week. We were not disappointed — camp was truly an amazing experience for our son. Most importantly, he began to establish friendships with kids just like him. Thank you, MDA!
— Parents of 7-year-old R.J.,. first-time camper