Volunteer counselors must be at least 18 years old and able to lift
and care for a young person between the ages of 6 and 21. Each
counselor becomes a companion to a camper with a neuromuscular
disease. Counselors help their campers with daily activities such as
eating, bathing and dressing and in recreational activities such as
arts and crafts, swimming, and horseback riding.
"MDA summer camp
is the event that our kids think about year-round," said Emily Lane,
MDA health care services coordinator. "For one week out of the year,
they get to be in an environment where having a neuromuscular
disease is the norm, not the exception. They have the chance to make
friendships and memories that will last a lifetime."
Lane noted that volunteer counselors often say camp is a magical
and memorable time. "It's such a family environment and a time to
make friends for life," she said. "It truly is the best week of the
At no charge to families, MDA's summer camp program serves more
than 4,000 campers nationwide in some 90 weeklong sessions. Last
year, some 5,000 volunteers helped make this all possible. It costs
the association $650 to send one child to camp.
[to top of second column]
To obtain a volunteer application or learn about other ways to
support MDA's summer camp program, call the local MDA office in
Springfield at 217-787-6940 or call 800-572-1717. More information
about summer camp volunteers is available on the MDA summer camp
MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat more than 40
neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research,
comprehensive services, and far-reaching professional and public
health education. The association's programs are funded almost
entirely by individual private contributors.
[News release from the
Dystrophy Association, Springfield]