Summer is back for kids with serious illnesses and disabilities Camp Simcha Without Borders began the first of its summer sessions last week. The local camp is operated by Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic, the local chapter of the children’s health organization providing social, emotional, and financial assistance to families impacted by pediatric illness, crisis, and loss.
“The success of Camp Simcha Without Borders can be seen in the smiles of our campers, counselors and the community,” said Racheli Daniel, director of Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic. “It’s in the smile on the face of a camper on his birthday while we celebrate with ‘cake wars’, smiles as campers danced on their counselors’ shoulders at our concert for the community, and the excitement when the rain let up to allow the fireworks show to go on. The smiles, the joy and the ruach were there for everyone.”
Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chai Lifeline developed Camp Simcha Without Borders to bring summer joy to sick children in communities across the country with specialized day camps and community-wide events.
The four-day camp sessions over the course of the summer include non-stop activities and action, music, swimming and much more, and allows children with illness to just be kids and get a break from the medical challenges they face daily.
“My daughter was telling me how she loves going to camp because she feels so comfortable and normal and can just be herself,” one mother shared. “We are so thankful to Chai Lifeline for giving her these amazing opportunities to feel good about herself!”
“Camp Simcha Without Borders gives us a chance to bring the magic and energy of Camp Simcha to kids here in Baltimore but also, to bring the magic to our community and to our own backyards,” said Daniel, “We love that different families and many individuals have stepped up to help – whether hosting, baking, or coming out for our family night – we are all in this together and here for each other. The community is excited to have Chai Lifeline here and to support its critical mission.”
“The energy, joy and inspiration of Camp Simcha can be felt all over the country during the summer,” said Rabbi Simcha Scholar, CEO of Chai Lifeline. “Between our flagship Camp Simcha program in upstate New York, and our camps in California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Florida, we are so proud and thankful to our staff, volunteers, donors and supporters for helping us give these kids the summer they deserve.”
Camp Simcha Without Borders Mid-Atlantic will be hosting another session girls, August 15 – 18.