JA Camp Teen Retreat

Whether a parent considering sending your teen to a JA retreat or a registered teen counting down the days until retreat begins, we want to assist you in preparing for this life changing experience.


Thank you for your courage in taking this important step in raising a strong, independent teen with JA. We are confident teen retreat will open your teen’s eyes to a whole new world, allowing them to see a complete and fulfilling future is possible with JA. 

Being fully prepared for camp is an important part of your teen’s overall enjoyment, so here is some information geared towards addressing all of your questions and concerns. 

What to expect when you send your child to teen retreat: 

  • Our juvenile arthritis teen retreats are medically supervised by pediatric rheumatologists, rheumatology nurses, 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 teen day and night. 

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

  • Your teen will try some different, amazing activities. 

  • Your teen will learn tools and resources to help them transition into adulthood. 

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Children who attend an Arthritis Foundation teen retreat 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 & crafts, etc. 

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

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 teen retreat, 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 or teen retreats that might be a better fit. We are happy to help recommend an alternative program to ensure no child goes without similar opportunities. 

Teen Retreat Activities 

Activities vary by teen retreat - some activities may include swimming, high and low ropes course, arts and crafts, fishing and more! Activities may even include things like a campfire or a dance.  

Teen Retreat Goals 

Everything we do at teen retreat is done intentionally. It’s our hope that all participating teens 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 son is more responsible for taking his own medication. He does yoga in the morning to stretch. He has met medical providers and has made friends who know what it is like to have JA. He is proud of himself and excited that he gets to return to camp.” 

JA Parent

JA Camp Volunteer Opportunities

Learn about volunteer opportunities for the Arthritis Foundation’s Juvenile Arthritis Resident Camps, which provide fun experiences for children diagnosed with JA to learn and grow alongside other children touched by Juvenile Arthritis.

Become a Volunteer
I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate


    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer


    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner


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


Ways to Give

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.

Make a Donation

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!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, 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.

Gift Planning

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


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.

More About Volunteering


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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