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Give Your Child
“the Best Week of the Year”
at MDA Summer Camp

It’s the experience of a lifetime.

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MDA Summer Camp creates a world of possibilities for children living with neuromuscular disease.

Camp gives kids a chance to discover new interests while gaining self-confidence, making lifelong friendships and experiencing the independence of being away from home. Thanks to generous donors and partners, MDA provides a safe, inclusive summer camp experience at no cost to families.

Camp offers a variety of activities and programs such as arts and crafts, sports and games, traditional camp activities and more. Every activity is adapted to meet each individuals needs and abilities. Dedicated and trained camp counselors are available to help campers with activities of daily living and personal care.

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“I was nervous about sending her to MDA Summer Camp because she had never been away from home on her own before, and we were concerned about her getting the needed care that we provide at home. Once she attended camp, it alleviated all our fears. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her. She was a little homesick the first time, but she became more independent and looks forward to camp every year.

“I encourage parents to send their children to camp the first chance they get because we don't want our children to miss out on an experience of a lifetime.”

— Melissa Dulaney, mom of an MDA Summer Camp alum

93%

of parents shared that MDA Summer Camp increased their child’s confidence levels

98%

of campers shared that MDA Summer Camp provides opportunities to make new friends or get closer with an old friend

88%

of respondents stated that MDA Summer Camp creates opportunities to develop a positive self-identity

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my child attend camp?

    This unique residential camping experience is available to children with neuromuscular disease who are members of the MDA community and are between 8 and 17 years of age*. Campers may attend one week of MDA Summer Camp, either in-person or virtual. Families can choose to apply for the program and location that best suits them.

    When making your decision about applying for camp, please carefully consider your children’s readiness to be away from home, their desire to go to camp, as well as their ability to participate in activities and enjoy the camp experience.

    * To inquire about individual situations with birthdates affecting specific weeks of camp, please email camp@mdausa.org.

  • Will vaccinations be required to participate in a camp program?

    All MDA staff, campers, volunteers, and medical team members must have received the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine to participate in the camp program. The CDC outlines a completed series as the following:

    Participants 18 and older: Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine.

    Participants younger than 18: Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax vaccines.

  • What Covid guidelines and/or safety measures are going to be in place for the return to in-person camp?

    MDA will follow local, state and facility guidelines, and may also have measures specific to our camp program in place. All guidelines and procedures will be developed in consultation with MDA medical advisors, to ensure the safety of all camp participants.

  • Who will take care of my child's medical needs during camp?

    Each MDA Camp includes a team of dedicated medical professionals that can include physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists. The camp Medical Team will review your child's application and noted medical needs prior to camp and will meet with you to discuss your child's needs on the first day of camp. During the camp week, the Medical Team administers medications, provides first aid, and monitors the overall health of all camp participants.

  • How do I know my child will be safe at camp?

    MDA is committed to the health, safety, and wellbeing of all camp participants. MDA staff and volunteers receive comprehensive training about the special needs of children with neuromuscular diseases. All activities are closely monitored, overseen by qualified personnel, and designed to accommodate each campers' individual needs and abilities. Additionally, each Camp includes a dedicated team of qualified medical professionals who monitor the overall health of all camp participants.

  • How are volunteer counselors selected and what duties do they perform?

    At MDA camps, volunteer counselors are by campers’ sides day and night so that they can do all the fun activities that summer camp offers. Volunteers may assist campers with daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, and feeding, provide assistance and encouragement during activities, and help ensure the safety of each camper.

    Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and of sufficient ability to lift and care for campers and assist with campers' personal care. Parents can be assured that camp volunteers are thoroughly screened in a process that includes a formal application, criminal background check, health and reference checks, and a personal interview. MDA follows all state mandates for volunteers who work with children.

    MDA Summer Camp is an opportunity for children to learn that others are there to help support them. Siblings and other family members are welcome to apply to serve as volunteers, but we typically do not place family members in the same cabin. Campers' parents are not eligible to be volunteers at the same camp where their children are in attendance unless it is as a member of the volunteer medical team.

  • How is MDA helping with transportation to camp?

    Transportation to camp is the responsibility of the campers' families. We don't want transportation to be the barrier to prevent a child from attending "the best week of the year." If you are in need of financial transportation assistance, please complete this form.

Thank you again for your interest in MDA Summer Camp! If you have any further questions, please contact us at camp@mdausa.org.