MDA Summer Camp Update
As a critical part of our mission, MDA provides excellent and safe camp experiences that bring joy to campers, families, volunteers and MDA partners. MDA has a Medical Advisory Board who meet with the Summer Camp leadership team regularly. This team, who have extensive experience providing care for individuals with neuromuscular disease, reviews guidance from a variety of medical and scientific sources to evaluate and determine camp policy and protocols.
In collaboration with the MDA Medical Advisory Board, MDA has revised our COVID-19 guidelines for 2023 in-person camp sessions. We will now strongly recommend, but not require, that all participants be up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations. We understand there are many different viewpoints and perspectives on this topic. We are taking our direction from the medical professionals who guide MDA’s decisions on these important matters.
MDA reserves the right to update guidelines, implement additional safety measures, reduce capacity, and/or cancel camp sessions based on updated state/local guidelines and based on the guidance of our Medical Advisory Board.
Vaccination Policy Updates
MDA strongly recommends all Summer Camp participants (staff, campers, volunteers, medical team members, and visitors) be up to date with a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination is not required to apply.
Will the COVID-19 vaccination be required to participate in MDA Summer Camp?
We strongly recommend that all MDA staff, campers, volunteers, and medical team members be up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine, but it is no longer a requirement to participate.
How was this decision made?
The safety of our community is central to our decision-making process. MDA’s Summer Camp leadership meets regularly with a team of independent, trusted medical advisors who provide guidance and recommendations on this and other matters. These two groups have reviewed guidance from a variety of medical and scientific sources and have determined that the recommendation aligns with the information from these sources and is in accordance with the American Camp Association guidance as well as the CDC guidelines for school systems.
Why is this decision being announced now, after applications are already open?
The guidance and recommendations regarding COVID-19 and the impact of the virus variants are continuously evolving as new information comes to light. A central element of MDA’s program management is to meet regularly with a team of independent medical advisors to ensure we are working with the most up-to-date information. This recommendation is reflective of the latest guidance regarding COVID-19 management in settings such as camps.
What COVID-19 guidelines and/or safety measures are going to be in place?
MDA will follow local, state, and facility guidelines, and may also have measures like testing or masking specific to our camp program in place. All guidelines and procedures will be developed in consultation with the MDA Medical Advisory Board, to ensure the safety of all camp participants.
Are these guidelines and recommendations applicable to all camp sessions?
MDA partners with camp facilities all over the country, some of which maintain their own protocols and guidelines. If the facility you have chosen to apply to has different protocols than what is outlined here, an MDA staff member will reach out to you to discuss.
What is the process if someone becomes symptomatic at camp?
Individuals who display COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated and undergo a COVID test on-site, administered by a Medical Team volunteer. If an individual tests positive, they will continue to isolate until they are able to leave camp. Parents/Guardians of campers who test positive will be required to pick up their child within 12 hours of being notified.
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To apply to attend camp programs as a camper, visit mda.org/summer-camp/camper.
To apply to attend camp programs as a volunteer, visit mda.org/summer-camp/volunteer.