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"MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education."
The purpose of MDA summer camp is to provide campers with a total camping experience, meaningful activities, and the opportunity to learn new skills and develop friendships. A week at camp can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime for campers and volunteers. We have approximately 35 campers attend the weeklong session.
Each camper has his or her own volunteer counselor for the entire week. The campers and counselors stay in group cabins and participate in activities such as: swimming, horseback riding, fishing, arts and crafts, softball, and much more. There are also planned activities each evening including a Karaoke night and a special dance on the final night of camp. All of the activities are geared towards the participants' abilities and not their disabilities.
We have a medical team that attends camp for the week, which consists of a Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner and trained paramedics. There are also MDA staff members from the Memphis office who attend camp.
It is MDA's goal to provide a safe, supportive atmosphere for all campers. Many campers have never been away from home and the constant care required from their parents and siblings. MDA Summer Camp gives children a place where there are no boundaries for their physical disabilities and creates a haven to build confidence and independence. Life-long friendships are made with others who share the same daily challenges that come from living with a physical disability. MDA expects outcomes of Summer Camp to be that the campers will gain self-confidence and the desire to continue trying new activities. MDA hopes to provide activities that the campers have never had the opportunity to do before.
Summer Camp also provides a much needed "break" for the parents and siblings for the children who attend. Many children and young adults require a great deal of care and assistance even with simple everyday tasks. We find that parents, siblings and other caretakers appreciate the time afforded them while the children attend camp.
- Sherry Bramucci
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