JA Camps

The Arthritis Foundation’s JA camps give kids with arthritis and related childhood rheumatic diseases the chance to make lasting memories.

JA Camps

Helping Kids Say YES!

Arthritis Foundation camps are FUN, safe and secure for children and teens with juvenile arthritis and childhood rheumatic diseases. Campers make lifelong friends, gain a greater understanding of their own juvenile arthritis, increase independence and self-confidence, and discover new skills and interests. Our JA camps are medically supervised by health care professionals on site to tend to your child’s needs.

Helping Kids Say YES!
Vaccination Requirements
2023 In-Person JA Camp COVID-19 Policies

Vaccination Requirements

Our COVID vaccine requirements and related policies were developed in partnership with a panel of medical experts. They reviewed guidance on vaccines for immunocompromised patients from sources like the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Proof of full vaccination (including boosters) for all campers, volunteers, facility staff and Arthritis Foundation staff is required and must be provided during the application process to be accepted to the camp program. See the CDC guidance for vaccination recommendations by age and immune system status.

JA Camps Around the Country 

The following is a list of JA camps the Arthritis Foundation is hosting in 2023. Registration information coming soon! 

JA Camps Around the Country

Camp Milagros
Livermore, CA 
June 25 – June 29, 2023

Camp Esperanza
Mountain Center, CA
August 7 – August 12, 2023

JA Camp
Deckers, CO
June 25 – June 30, 2023

Camp Ache Away
Lincolnton, GA
June 11 – June 16, 2023

Camp Joint Adventures
Lawson, MO  
June 5 – June 8, 2023

Camp Sisu
Maple Lake, MN
July 23 – July 28, 2023

Camp JRA|CHAT
Millville, PA
July 16 – July 21, 2023

Camp KODA
Park City, UT
August 5, 2023

Camp M.A.S.H.
Wisconsin Dells, WI
August 6 – August 11, 2023

OTHER JA Camp Programs

National Virtual Camp
Via ZOOM
July 10 – July 14, 2023

KATFISH
Auburn, WA
July 28 – July 30, 2023

JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022
JA Camp 2022

It gave him confidence taught him life skills and help him know he is not alone. He made new, lifelong friends.

Mom of a JA Camper
JA Camp FAQs for Families & Volunteers

What goes on at JA Camp?

At JA Camp, our activities and schedule very closely resemble that of a traditional summer camp, but with adaptations that make our programming more accessible to campers with a wide range of needs. Some activities might include horseback riding, archery, arts and crafts, swimming, rock wall climbing, and high or low ropes courses. We also include special programming that we call intentionally set programming, which are activities that incorporate educational components and create positive change for our campers. This programming typically focuses on social, emotional, and mental health, improving physical health, and better experience of medical care.
 

What are the sleeping arrangements?

Most JA Camp facilities have cabins with bathroom/showers. Housing is separated by gender. Camp Counselors also reside in the cabins with campers.   
 

When will the camps and dates be listed?

You can find our camp listings on the JA Camps Around the Country portion of this web page. We aim to announce dates and open registration by the end of January 2023 for the camp season of summer 2023.
 

Is there transportation to and from the camps?

We currently do not provide transportation to or from JA Camp, but we will continue to assess this possibility on a camp-by-camp basis as needed and as is deemed safe by our medical advisory committee in relation to COVID-19.
 

What is the age range for campers?

For most camps, our camper age range is 8-17 years old. However, some camps welcome campers as young as 7, and some have a maximum age of 16. KATFISH and National Virtual Camp are exceptions to this.
 

Can a child with other non-rheumatic conditions still attend camp?

One of the requirements to attend camp is that the camper is diagnosed with juvenile arthritis or childhood rheumatic disease. A child may still be able to attend camp if they have additional health conditions, but this will likely warrant a discussion with the camp’s medical director (or mental health director if the condition is a mental health condition). Whether or not a child with an additional health condition can attend camp is left to the sole discretion of the medical director (or mental health director) of the camp.
 

How do I join a camp?

To join a camp, either as a camper or as a volunteer, you will need to register using the link below the respective listing in the JA Camps Around the Country section on this web page. Please note that the links are different for camper and volunteer registration. Once you have submitted your child’s application, it will be reviewed by the medical and mental health directors of the camp you applied for, as well as our JA Camp Staff. If there are questions about your application, a medical team or staff member will reach out to you. Volunteers will also need to go through an interview and background check process.

How soon will I receive information on the camps after I register?

Please allow 2 to 4 weeks from the time you submit your child’s registration application until you are notified. If you have any questions or have not heard back from us after 4 weeks, please reach out to [email protected].

National Supporting Sponsors

Thank you to our 2022 National JA Camps sponsors for making this memorable experience possible.

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    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.

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Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

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Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

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Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

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I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.
 

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Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

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More About Volunteering

Live Yes! INSIGHTS


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started

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Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.

Trailblazer

Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000

Visionary

Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.

Pioneer

Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.

Pacesetter

Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.

Signature

Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.

Supporting

Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.