North American HD Youth Camp
HDYO has more information about HD available for young people, parents and professionals on our site:
February 2, 2015
HDYO and HDSA are excited to host the first ever North American HD Youth Camp. The goal of camp is to offer young people the chance to meet other young people impacted by HD, to learn about HD through educational workshops, to share experiences through share sessions and to have plenty of fun participating in the many on-site activities, such as swimming, ropes courses, paddle boarding, archery and much more. We hope young people attending camp will benefit by feeling less isolated, more supported, as well coming away from camp with an improved understanding of HD and strong peer connections with other young people in similar situations. There will be an experienced HD team of professionals and volunteers on-site to support young people at all times.
Who can attend: Young people ages 15-23 that live in the United States or Canada and are impacted by HD.
How many spaces are available: There is the capacity for 40 young people to attend the camp.
When will it be: Arriving Monday, August 24 – Leaving Thursday, August 27, 2015
Where will it be: Camp St. Charles – located about an hour from the Washington DC Metro Area
Cost: Free!!!! The camp, food and travel costs are all covered, although we do request all participants have travel insurance.
Want to be a part of the first ever North American HD Youth Camp…
Not sure if camp is right for you? Get an understanding of what camp is like from this video of the European HD Youth Camp HDYO co-organized.
Application Process: Applications can be submitted from February 1, 2015 until April 30, 2015. Applications will be reviewed by the camp team during the first two weeks of May 2015. If there are more applicants than places we will prioritize those young people who may not have a lot of support in their local community. Notifications of application acceptance will go out no later than May 25th, 2015. If you are selected to attend camp, a staff member will reach out to you and your family with details about moving forward and details about planning travel.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will I/my child get to Washington, DC?
If you are selected to attend camp we will arrange travel for you. For those flying, we will have a travel agent work with you to book the best flights. If you are within a certain distance, you will be reimbursed for mileage to transport your child to and from camp or the Washington DC area.
Who is running the camp?
There will be staff from HDYO and HDSA supervising the camp, as well as a trained and trusted group of young adult volunteers from the HD community in North America to form the volunteer support team. All camp activities are supervised by certified staff that are employees of Camp St. Charles.
Insurance: All campers are required to have travelers insurance which the family/individual should take out themselves. The camp is fully insured and there will be extra event coverage organized by HDYO as well.
- All families will be required to sign a release alleviating HDYO, HDSA and HSC of responsibility in the case of an accident or injury.
Medical Treatment: Qualified first aiders will be on-site as part of the staff & volunteer team. Also a list of medical facilities in the area will be included in a packet sent to families prior to arrival and discussed on the pre-camp call.
What experience do the staff have with supporting young people and camps?
HDYO’s Youth Worker and Project Coordinator will be overseeing the camp, with support from HDSA staff members as well as HD professionals from the region. HDYO has a number of years of experience providing camps and other events for young people impacted by HD around the world, and the HDSA is the largest patient advocacy organization in the US and has led youth programming including the US National Youth Alliance for nearly 15 years. We will have a team for camp that will include HDYO’s HD Youth Worker, as well as HD professionals such as social workers and genetic counsellors from the region. We will also have a trained and trusted volunteer team of young adults from the HD community in North America who will be with the young participants at all times.
What will each day look like?
The days will start with breakfast as a group. After that, depending on the day, there will be a mix of recreational activities, educational sessions and some sharing sessions. A full agenda will be provided to each family prior to the start of camp.
What support is available to my child before and after camp?
The HDYO youth worker, Chandler Swope, will be scheduling at least one call prior to camp to discuss the family’s situations, get a sense of any concerns and begin to build a relationship with the young person. The youth worker will also work with the associations to ensure that any available support in their region is identified. The youth worker will be holding calls with the family post-camp as well. HDSA will also be providing follow-up support for young Americans and HSC will be providing support post-camp for all young Canadians attending camp and ensure that young people are aware of all the support available to them locally.
Who is funding the camp project?
The North American Youth Camp is supported by a significant grant to HDYO from Teva. Extra places were also made available thanks to very welcome funding from HDSA.
I reviewed the camp website and notice the camp has a religious background. Will there be a religious aspect to camp?
There will not be a religious component for the HD Camp. Although Camp St. Charles does have a religious focus during its own summer program, they understand that this is a camp focused on support for young people impacted by HD and the camp do not require outside groups to engage in any faith-based activities.
Have a question/query about the camp that isn’t answered above?
Contact HDYO’s Youth Worker, Chandler Swope
This camp is supported by:
A special thank you to Teva for providing significant funding in support of the camp