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Camp INSPIRE, a camp designed for children and teens who use assisted respiratory support, such as tracheostomies, ventilators and BiPAP machines, will welcome campers for its fifth year this summer. The camp, which is a collaborative effort between Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and The Woodlands Foundation, will be held Sunday, July 16 to Friday, July 21 at The Woodlands in Wexford, Pa.
Throughout the week, 20 campers ages 6 to 18 will enjoy adaptive golf, basketball, archery, tennis, arts and crafts, swimming and a zip line. This year, kids will watch skydivers land at The Woodlands, launch bottle rockets and explore a mobile planetarium. Campers also will perform in a talent show at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 19.
“It is easy for people who use medical technology to feel isolated,” said Jason Edinger, D.O., outpatient clinical director, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s. “Spending time with peers is an opportunity for our patients to learn that they are not alone and to build lifelong friendships. Our hope is that after camp, the kids understand that with planning and determination, most things are possible for them, despite their diagnosis or disability.”
Camp staff includes nurses and respiratory therapists from Children’s, as well as summer program staff from The Woodlands. Campers can participate in the week of fun and games while simultaneously building relationships with medical staff in a non-clinical setting.
“Often, medical staff interact with campers and their families in very stressful and critical situations,” added Edinger. “Hopefully, campers will see the big hearts of all those who come to support them. Camp also gives the staff an opportunity to see kids in an environment where their personalities shine.”
The Woodlands is dedicated to serving children and adults with disability and chronic illness, and strengthening and supporting individuals and groups in socialization, recreation, environment, culture and spirituality. Specialty camps are held year-round at the fully accessible campus, ideally designed for campers with special needs.
For more information on Camp INSPIRE, please visit the webpage.
Media interested in covering the camp during the week should contact Andrea Kunicky at 412-692-6254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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