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Updates Regarding the Return to In-Person MDA Summer Camp

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 muscular dystrophy and related diseases.

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 the abilities of youngsters with neuromuscular disease. Plus, campers are paired with camp counselors to help 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

99%

of parents value MDA Summer Camp

94%

of parents agree that MDA Summer Camp has increased their children's confidence

91%

of parents believe MDA Summer Camp has helped their children become more independent

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my child attend camp?

    This unique residential camping experience is available to children with neuromuscular disease who are registered with MDA and are between 8 and 17 years of age*.

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

    Camper families can choose to apply for the program that best suits them – in-person or virtual. Families may attend one week of MDA Summer Camp, either in-person or virtual.

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

  • 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. All MDA staff, campers, volunteers, and medical team members must be fully vaccinated to participate in the camp program. Safety measures such as masking, testing and use of cohorts may be implemented. The safety and health of camp participants is our main priority.

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

    All MDA staff, campers, volunteers, and medical team members must be fully vaccinated to participate in the camp program. Presently, the CDC defines fully vaccinated as 2 weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. MDA may require a booster based on guidance from the CDC and state health authorities.

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

    MDA camps are staffed by medical teams that can include physicians, nurses and respiratory or physical therapists. The camp medical team will review your child's medical needs prior to camp and meet with you to discuss your child's needs on the first day of camp. During the camp week, the medical team dispenses medications, takes care of injured or ill campers, provides first aid and monitors the overall health of all camp participants.

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

    Safety is our first priority. Camp 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 campers' individual needs and abilities.

    In regards to Covid safety measures, vaccine requirements will be in place, and safety measures such as masking, testing and use of cohorts may be implemented. The safety and health of camp participants is our main priority.

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

    In regards to Covid safety measures, vaccine requirements will be in place, and safety measures such as masking, testing and use of cohorts may be implemented. The safety and health of camp participants is our main priority.

    Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and of sufficient strength and size to lift and care for campers and assist with campers' personal care. For most camps, campers' parents are not eligible to be volunteers at the same camp where their children are in attendance. Siblings and other family members are welcome to apply to serve as volunteers, but we typically do not pair a camper with a family member. MDA Summer Camp is an opportunity for children to learn that others are there to help meet their needs.

    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.

  • How is MDA helping with transportation to camp?

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

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at camp@mdausa.org. Thank you again for your interest in MDA Summer Camp!