Camp INSPIRE Offers Kids with Complex Medical Conditions a Week of Summer Enjoyment

July 15, 2015

Camp INSPIRE, a collaborative effort between Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and The Woodlands Foundation, is an overnight week-long camp specially designed for children and teens with complex medical conditions who have tracheostomies or who use ventilators and BiPAP machines.

Going into its third year, Camp INSPIRE will bring together campers ages 6 to 21, who will enjoy a variety of activities from sports, to creative arts, to nature and musical expression, while building relationships in a nurturing, medically supervised environment. The camp will be held July 19 to 24 at The Woodlands in Wexford, Pa.

Camp staff is comprised of nurses and respiratory therapists from Children’s, as well as summer program staff from the Woodlands. Over the past two years, nursing and respiratory therapy students have worked closely with campers and have become a vital part of their camper experience.

The campers enjoy adaptive golf, basketball, tennis, archery, swimming and tennis, as well as traditional summer camp activities including arts and crafts, campfires, a dance and a zip-line, which can accommodate all of the campers. The popular talent show will be held on Wednesday, July 22, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Joey Green, age 15, will attend Camp INSPIRE the second time. His mother, Kim, explains his excitement.

“Last year was Joey’s first time being away from our family, so we didn’t know what to expect and how he would react,” said Kim. “We couldn’t believe how much camp affected him. He has become more independent and cannot wait to go back this year. He enjoyed all of the camp activities and is especially looking forward to getting back on the zip-line. We are so thankful for this camp and the opportunities it gives to Joey and the other children.”

“Camp INSPIRE provides the opportunity for our campers with complex medical needs, to have the same summer camp experience as other children," said Jason Edinger, D.O., clinical director, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s. “As practicing health care workers, we can attest to the valuable experience this provides to the campers and the staff. Everyone gains an understanding of how to care for our campers as individuals, as opposed to caring for their diagnoses.”

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.

If interested in covering the camp during the week, please contact Andrea Kunicky at 412-692-6254 or For more information on Camp INSPIRE, please visit our website.

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,