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MDA Family Getaways

Bringing families together for unforgettable weekends of community, connection, and fun!
Image of three people up close with palm trees, grass and ocean in the background.

Connection. Fun. Time in Nature. Just a few of things you can expect when you join a MDA Family Getaway!

Family Getaways provide individuals living with neuromuscular disease, and their families, with a unique recreation experience that promotes fun, independence, and adventure. Families can take part in a variety of exciting and accessible programming designed for participants of all ages. Family Getaways have the added opportunity for connection both within each individual family unit as well as within the broader neuromuscular disease community.

"Both Cam and Fox came back from [this weekend] with more confidence. They felt seen and valued. Their lights get dim in the world. They are so bright right now.” - OR Family Getaway Parent

“I loved this, I needed this, I feel like I finally found my planet. Everybody here is like me, I don’t even have this at my ‘home’ because here we all have the same pain, they walk, run and jump around like I do” - PR Family Getaway Participant with BMD

2024 FAMILY GETAWAY LOCATIONS

All Family Getaways are available to MDA Community Members of all ages and their family.

Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp

  • Friday, August 23 – Sunday, August 25
  • Rhododendron, Oregon
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, July 23

Camp Aranzazu

  • Friday, September 20 – Sunday, September 22
  • Rockport, Texas
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, August 20

Center for Courageous Kids

  • Friday, September 27 – Sunday, September 29
  • Scottsville, Kentucky
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, August 27

National Ability Center

  • Friday, October 4 - Sunday, October 6
  • Park City, Utah
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, October 3

Victory Junction

  • Friday, November 8 – Sunday, November 10
  • Randleman, North Carolina
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, October 8

Puerto Rico – Dates & Location TBD

Family Getaway session locations, participant eligibility considerations and programming may vary from year-to-year.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Interested families must complete an application through MDA’s online application platform, UltraCamp.

One family member will serve as the ‘Primary Contact’ to complete many of the components of the application, including forms for any children within the family unit. Each adult within the family unit must complete and sign their own application forms. A completed application includes:

  • Family Questionnaire – One per family. Completed by the Primary Contact
  • Adult Application & Waiver – Completed by each adult within the family unit.
  • Youth Application & Waiver – Completed by the guardian of each child within the family unit. Completed for every child within the family unit.

Criminal Background Check – Required for all individuals within the family unit over the age of 18.

Applications must be completed one month prior to the start of the Family Getaway. A completed application does not guarantee acceptance to the program.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How is this program different from MDA Summer Camp?

Similar to MDA Summer Camp, Family Getaways provide unique, accessible recreation experiences that promote fun, independence and adventure. However, Family Getaways have the added opportunity for connection within the family unit and within the neuromuscular community. A variety of recreation programming will accommodate participants of all ages.

What defines a ‘Family’?

A ‘family unit’ includes an MDA Community Member and their immediate family. Participants can contact MDA to discuss any other individuals they would like to be considered to attend as part of their family unit. The number of individuals within a family unit will vary by session, based on facility accommodations. All minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian.

What is the cost to attend?

Family Getaways are offered at no cost to MDA Community Members and their families, and includes accessible accommodations, fun and interactive programming, meals, and volunteer support. Participants will be responsible for their transportation to and from the program and their own personal and medical care.

What are the accommodations? Will we have to share sleeping quarters and restrooms with other families?

Specific accommodations vary by location. Each family will have a designated, accessible private room for the duration of the session. This can include bunk beds, single beds and/ or queen size beds. Bathroom accommodations may include designated, accessible private bathrooms within the sleeping quarters or a shared bathroom space with other participants.

Who is responsible for personal care and medical care?

Families are responsible for providing their own personal and medical care. A licensed medical professional will be available on-site for each session for first-aid and emergency support. A first-aid kit will be available at each session. Volunteers may be available at your session to assist with general family support, to accompany families through activities and to supervise during respite activities; they do not provide personal or medical care to program participants.

What vaccinations are required to participate in Family Getaways?

MDA requires that participants be up-to-date with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), Varicella and Pertussis vaccinations. Though not required, MDA strongly recommends participants are up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccination and all other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended vaccinations. Participants must provide a copy of their current immunization record with their application.

Will everyone who applies for a Family Getaway be able to attend?

MDA Family Getaways are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage those that are interested to submit their applications early. Waitlists may be created for sessions that reach participant capacity.

Although MDA Family Getaways are designed to meet the needs of individuals with neuromuscular disease, there are instances when this program may not be appropriate. We encourage you to carefully consider your family’s needs and assess if they can be met within the recreation program setting. As a reminder, you are responsible for providing the personal and medical care for all participants within your family unit. Medical staff are available for first aid and emergency response only.

All applications are reviewed by the MDA Recreation Programs Team prior to acceptance. Please complete an application or reach out to camp@mdausa.org if you have questions about the appropriateness of MDA Family Getaways for your family.

What if we are unable to get to a Family Getaway due to financial or transportation challenges?

MDA has a transportation stipend program to financially assist those families for whom transportation to a program location is a barrier to attend. To apply for support with transportation, families can complete the Transportation Stipend Application.