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North American HD Youth Camp 2016

January 18, 2016

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

HDYO has more information about HD available for young people, parents and professionals on our site:


North American HD Youth Camp 2016

HDYO and HDSA are excited to host a second 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 sharing 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 about 50 young people to attend the camp.

When will it be: Arriving Friday, August 19 – Leaving Monday, August 22, 2016

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. Campers will be responsible for any cost associated with baggage fees and campers should have some money for airport snacks and incidentals.

Want to be a part of the 2016 North American HD Youth Camp… Apply here

Not sure if camp is right for you? See highlights from last year’s camps:

Application Process: Applications can be submitted from February 1, 2016 until April 30, 2016. 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, 2016. 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. If you are within driving distance, we ask for your assistance in driving you child to camp or the Washington DC area.

Who is running the camp?

There will be staff from HDYO and HDSA supervising the camp, HD professionals from around the country, and 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 medical insurance. You should check your policy for travel coverage. 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 and trained medical professionals 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 and smaller donations.

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