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May 29, 2014 by Andrea

Photo by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography

Photo by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography

Your child has been begging to join the ranks of millions of other kids who head off to camp in the summer. You'd love to send him (or her), but you worry that many of the camps might be ill-equipped to care for your child's health needs. What if she has a crisis while she's away? What if he gets too hot while he's playing outside and no one understands the seriousness? You've run every possibility over and over in your mind.

But, what if there was a camp that specialized in working with children with sickle cell? Turns out, there are several (and many of them are free!):

1. Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency's Summer Enrichment Camp. Held in Greensboro, NC from July 27 through August 1, 2014, this camp is open to North Carolina residents ages 6 through 15, who suffer from SCD. This overnight camp employs nurses who are on the clock 24/7, has access to an on-call doctor from a local hospital, and plans supervised activities ranging from swimming and horseback riding to talent shows, movie nights, and more!

2. Camp Crescent Moon. For 46 years, this camp has dedicated itself to providing a fun retreat for sickle cell kids ages 7 to 14. Not only will campers engage in arts and crafts, nature walks, computer time, and other group activities, but they'll also learn even more about their health condition, along with coping strategies and ways to advocate for themselves. Register your camper by clicking here. This year, camp runs from June 28 through July 5.

3. Metropolitan Seattle Sickle Cell Task Force's Camp Burton Sickle Cell Camp. Lasting four days -- August 15 through 18, 2014 -- this overnight camp for SCD kids ages 8 to 15 who live in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, focuses on having fun and teaching them more about their disease. Kids will get to go boating, bike riding, and hiking, among other things, and a staff of medical professionals will always be on hand should they be needed. Send your child to camp by applying here.

4. Double H Ranch. Catering to children with many different types of illnesses, including sickle cell disease, Double H Ranch is set in the picturesque Adirondack mountains and is outfitted with a medial facility that operates 24 hours a day. Campers will have a blast swimming, fishing, participating in science-based activities, and so much more. Eight overnight camp sessions are offered from June through August and are open to kids ages 6 to 16, as well as alumni, ages 17 to 21. Apply here.

5. Brainy Camps's Super Campers Always Camp. From July 28 through August 2, kids ages 7 to 17 who have sickle cell anemia and live anywhere in the country, are invited to come out to Washington, DC and spend their days enjoying activities, such as archery, photography, zip lining, canoeing, and more, as well as learning how to manage their condition. The medical staff is always on call and consists not only of doctors and nurses, but also of social workers, physical therapists, psychologists, and counselors.

6. Camp Cell-A-Bration. Sponsored by The June Rusche Hamrah Camp for Life, Camp Cell-A-Bration is a week-long overnight camp in Austin, Texas just for kids with sickle cell disease. Campers will get to go horseback riding, try out a ropes course, swim, make arts and crafts, and more.

7. Camp Boggy Creek. Located just a short drive from Orlando in Eustis, Florida, this camp, which was founded by Paul Newman, provides a place for kids ages 7 to 16 who have sickle cell (and other diseases) to just be kids. Each weeklong session is jam-packed with fun activities like horseback riding, fishing, and arts and crafts, among other things. And don't worry about how your child will get medical attention: "The Patch," as it's affectionately called, is the state-of-the-art, on-site medical facility staffed with a full-time doctor and nurses.


Category: Resources for Parents, Sickle Cell Disease Comments (0) | Edit

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