JA Resident Camp

Our Juvenile Arthritis Resident Camp is the opportunity for your child to meet other kids going through similar challenges, share stories, learn, and make enjoyable memories together.


We are confident camp will open your child’s eyes to a whole new world. They will have the opportunity to try new activities, learn how to manage their juvenile arthritis and meet new friends. It’s the one place where a child doesn’t have to explain what it’s like living with arthritis, because everyone knows.  

We want to assist you in preparing for a wonderful experience. Getting ready for camp is an important part of the overall camp experience. This preparation time is an opportunity to build excitement for camp and answer any questions you may have. 

What to expect when you send your child to camp

  • Our juvenile arthritis resident camps are medically supervised by pediatric rheumatologists, rheumatology nurses, mental health professionals or other healthcare professionals who are available on-site, 24 hours a day.  

  • Counselors, who often live with juvenile arthritis and other childhood rheumatic diseases themselves, will look after your child day and night 

  • Your child will grow while at camp, in unexpected and wonderful ways. 

  • Your child will participate in a variety of unforgettable activities. While activities vary by camps, examples include swimming, high and low ropes course, arts and crafts, fishing, campfires, and dancing. 

  • Your child will make lifelong friends who also live with childhood rheumatic disease. 

Essential Eligibility Criteria 

Children who attend an Arthritis Foundation JA Camp must meet certain criteria in order to participate. Eligible applicants must: 

  • Have a doctor diagnosed childhood rheumatic disease 

  • Display behaviors at home and school that allow them to function in an overnight group setting in a way that does not negatively affect other group members (no biting, kicking, displays of defiant behavior, running away, etc.) 

  • Be predominantly independent (bathing, dressing, toileting, sleeping through the night, eating, etc.) 

  • If the child has a mental health condition, it must have been managed under medical supervision for at least 6 months prior to start of camp start date. 

  • If campers have a comorbidity (epilepsy, diabetes, etc.), it must be managed under medical supervision for the at least the last 6 months. 

  • Have a desire to participate in daily camp activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, etc. 

  • Be comfortable with supervision from adults they are unfamiliar with (for example, volunteer counselors) 

Our medical team is highly specialized in rheumatology, but in order to provide the safest environment possible for your child who may live with other complications, please provide the most detailed information about your child possible while filling out this application. If your child has additional or special needs that may arise at camp, please let us know beforehand so we can ensure our team can safely care for your child. If your child is not eligible, please consider other camps that might be a better fit. We are happy to help recommend an alternative program to ensure no child goes without similar opportunities.

Camp Goals

The best part about Resident Camp is the opportunity to meet other kids going through similar challenges, share stories, learn, and make enjoyable memories together. Everything we do at camp is done with the intent that all participating kids will: 

  • Gain a greater understanding of their own diagnosis and treatment 

  • Develop peer-to-peer support 

  • Increase independence and self-confidence 

  • Discover new skills and interests 

  • Develop the skills they need to be leaders, advocates, and champions in their everyday lives. 

“My daughter returns from camp happier than she is all year. Camp really builds her self-confidence! She has made HUGE strides in advocating for her own health issues and needs, both at school and to her numerous specialists.”

JA Parent


Ever thought of being a camp counselor?

Being a counselor at JA Camp is FUN and rewarding! If you need volunteer, practicum or observation hours, this may qualify, and we can help! Click here to get started with your volunteer application.

Become a Volunteer

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