Give Your Child
“the Best Week of the Year”
at MDA Summer Camp
It’s the experience of a lifetime.
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 volunteer camp counselors are available to help campers with activities of daily living and personal care.Watch the Video
2024 MDA Summer Camps
Use the search below to find a camp near you.
Click the camp name to begin your application on our Summer Camp Registration site, UltraCamp. Be sure to note the deadline to complete all application materials.
Application materials for this session will be available soon. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be notified when they are available.
“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.”
“Since her first year of camp last year, [she] has been more social and independent at school. She has been better able to communicate her needs without parental assistance. Our daughter is blossoming socially, and it is wonderful to see. As a parent, I know that by the end of the camp week I am feeling more rested and revived. I couldn’t feel that way without knowing my daughter was being well cared for and having her own week of fun end great experiences with amazing counselors and staff and campers.”
of parents shared that MDA Summer Camp increased their child’s confidence levels
of parents shared that camp has helped their child become more independent
of parents value the summer camp program and the effect it has had on their child
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my child attend camp?
This unique residential camping experience is available to kids and young adults 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 session that best suits them.
When making your decision about applying for camp, please carefully consider your child’s readiness to be away from home, their desire to go to camp and their ability to participate in and fully enjoy the camp experience.
* To inquire about individual situations with birthdates affecting specific weeks of camp, please email email@example.com.
For your child to be considered, MDA must receive a completed application in UltraCamp no later than six (6) weeks prior to the start of the camp session. A completed application consists of:
• A recent photo of your child
• An electronically signed Camper Application and MDA Legal Agreements and Camp Policies form
• A copy of your child’s insurance card (front and back)
• Your child’s immunization record and COVID-19 vaccination card (if separate)
• The MDA Camper Physical form, completed and signed by your child’s physician
What immunizations are required to participate?
The MMR, Varicella & DTaP/TDaP vaccine are required in order to attend MDA Summer Camp. The COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to discuss your child's immunization records.
Who will take care of my child's medical needs during camp?
Each MDA Camp includes a volunteer team of dedicated medical professionals that can include physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and more. 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 unique needs of kids and young adults 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 do they do?
Volunteers must be at least 17 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.
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.
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.
Can I receive application support?
If you need any support with the application process, including translation support, please contact email@example.com.
When will I know if my child is accepted to camp?
Once the established application deadline has passed, applications submitted in full are evaluated by MDA Staff and the session’s volunteer Medical Team to determine whether the program is a fit for each child and to confirm the number of volunteers required to support the camp community.
Please note that applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis and the number of campers accepted to a session is often based on the number of volunteers available to support. Help us ensure that all eligible applicants can attend MDA Summer Camp by joining us in our volunteer recruitment efforts! MDA Staff will extend acceptance notifications in writing once all application reviews are complete and volunteer needs have been met.
Submitting an MDA Summer Camp application and/or prior attendance does not guarantee acceptance in any given year.
How can I best prepare my child for camp?
While considering an application for your child to participate in MDA Summer Camp, consider that it can be an adjustment for any participant to adapt to such a unique experience. Camp communities embrace many people that have different abilities and care needs as well as unique personalities and preferences. The camp environment can be equally unfamiliar, with a shared living and sleeping spaces, new routine, the possibility of schedule changes, new environments, a range of new interactive programming, new foods, new or unexpected sounds, and the absence of familiar comforts like family or friends. It is recommended that you prepare the child for MDA Summer Camp by discussing all of the ‘new’ they may face, as all of it directly contributes to the camp magic that can foster their independence.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
MDA strongly supports the American Camping Association’s mission of enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience. To facilitate this relationship, Muscular Dystrophy Association has integrated and is committed to ACA’s established standards. The standards ensure that campers are being provided with a safe and secure environment, as well as purposeful experiences.