The mission of Camp AmeriKids is to provide a traditional camping experience for children ages 7-15 who are living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses while providing a respite for their families. The camp is offered at no cost to the families and recruits campers from the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The goals of the program are to develop independence, friendship and self–confidence through the building of new skills and increased abilities. Camp AmeriKids believes that every child deserves a place that they can call their own, no matter where they come from or the circumstances in which they live.
It is AmeriCares’ firm conviction that children, despite their economic, social, or medical difficulties should have the opportunity to experience the carefree summer time joys of childhood.
Although the main objective is discovery, the primary focus is on safety. AmeriKids interviews each child with his or her family and coordinating agency. Each camper’s physical and emotional health is taken into consideration to ensure that daily activities do not exceed his or her capabilities.
Through AmeriCares’ affiliation with major medical centers throughout the Northeast, Camp AmeriKids is able to provide sophisticated and unobtrusive medical care within the camp environment. In order to staff the Camp Infirmary, one doctor and over ten nurses and nurse practitioners reside on the grounds while camp is in session. Each camper’s medical history is evaluated prior to his or her arrival, ensuring that his or her medications are administered on schedule and that all necessary medical precautions are taken care of during the session. Each nurse or practitioner is assigned a caseload of eight to ten children, each of whom receives medications three times a day.
Camp AmeriKids draws its camper population from several social service agencies throughout the tri-state area. Over 270 children attend Camp AmeriKids each summer during two eight-day sessions. For eight wonderful days, these campers are able to put aside their health or family concerns and focus on having fun and just being kids. Each unforgettable day of camp allows the children to participate in a number of activities that include Arts and Crafts, Woodshop, Sports, Swimming, Drama, Talent, Nature, Farm, Computer, and our ever-popular dance. On special theme days such as Carnival Day, campers are able to enjoy a generous helping of cotton candy or maybe a chance to get their favorite counselor in the dunking booth!!