Every Child Deserves to Go to Camp!

July 1, 2017

Camp PhotoWith more than 700 children in Alberta living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), The Arthritis Society Alberta & Northwest Territories Division is thrilled to launch Camp Childhood Arthritis, the first medically supervised summer camp for kids aged 8 to 17 with JIA and other inflammatory types of arthritis in the province.

Hosted at Camp Kindle in the picturesque Rocky Mountain Foothills, just outside of Water Valley, from July 10 to 14, Camp Childhood Arthritis will give these kids a classic summer camp experience.

Along with the many fun activities campers enjoy, they will meet and share the experience with other children with childhood arthritis, and gain new confidence in taking care of their health from our trained medical staff. And the encouragement never stops, with counselors who fully understand their needs and on-site medical services for campers who may require daily medications, injections and monitoring.

Childhood arthritis is an inflammatory disease with redness, swelling, pain and stiffness in one or many joints and often includes fever, rashes or eye inflammation.  In many cases, joint damage can be avoided with an early diagnosis.

Maggie Ilcisin, 11, was diagnosed with JIA when she was three-years-old. She’s been waiting for something fun like summer camp to come along for some time.

“I hope my arthritis doesn’t go away before camp because I don’t want to miss it,” said Maggie who will make the trip from Edmonton to Camp Kindle.

Her mother, Lisa Hryniw, said, “We are thrilled that Maggie will have the chance to spend time with kids who have similar struggles with arthritis, and see that she isn’t alone. This camp is going to be the beginning of some lifelong friendships.”

Shirley Philips, executive director of The Arthritis Society Alberta & NWT Division said that donations and grants will subsidize the regular $550 tuition, reducing the cost per camper to just $350.

She emphasized how vital it is for children and teens living with arthritis to connect with a peer group.

“I was so pleased that we could work with Camp Kindle to create a camp for these children.  Not only will they be able to participate in a fun-filled program designed for them, but they will also make new friends and talk with other kids who have arthritis.”

Funding is the biggest hurdle to participation, but you can help make this a one-of-a-kind opportunity for local children with childhood arthritis a reality by making a donation today to our dedicated childhood arthritis fund.

To share the gift of summer, please contact us at info@ab.arthritis.ca.