Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) & Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) Family Camp 
Camp Joy, Ohio, USA 
August 25, 2024

The Ehlers-Danlos Society is delighted to announce its first hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) & hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD) family camp, taking place in Ohio, USA, on August 2-5, 2024. This event will be facilitated by Camp Joy, and is for families where at least one member is diagnosed with, or suspects having, hEDS or HSD, to meet, connect, and spend time with those who understand. 

This four-day event is fully supported by generous donations, with registration fees, accommodation, camp activities, and meals covered at no cost to individual families. Families will be responsible for travel and travel-related expenses. Families must apply for a place for each family member via scholarship application, applications will be accepted through Sunday, June 16, and applicants will be notified on the outcome week commencing July 1, 2024. 

What is Camp Joy?
Camp Joy is an 87-year-old year-round camp that combines discovery, adventure, and fun while celebrating the growth and success of children. It includes everything one would hope to have at camp: campfires, nature hikes, swimming, crafts, face painting, songs, dancing, fishing, superheroes, S’MORES and so much more! They are devoted to creating supportive and enriching experiences that provide campers with opportunities to grow intellectually, personally, and socially as they develop healthy friendships and create long-lasting memories. Campers will participate in activities that foster development in relationships, self-esteem, purpose and learning new skills. Camp Joy’s counselors teach and lead young people in a variety of activities utilizing safe, fun, intentional, and experienced-based approaches. 

Please see our FAQs section below for further information, and do contact our events team with any additional questions. Read on to find out how to apply for this experience of a lifetime! 

Venue Details

Camp Joy’s campus is filled with indoor and outdoor program spaces, an observatory, a greenhouse, exciting ropes courses, heated and air-conditioned cabin spaces that sleep up to 300, two dining spaces that serve delicious meals to meet any dietary requirement, campfire rings, gaga pits, and many beautiful hiking trails. 

Camp FAQs

The hEDS & HSD family camp is for families where at least one member is diagnosed with, or suspects having, hEDS or HSD. All family members do not need to have EDS/HSD to join the camp. 

There are limited spots, which must be applied for by June 16, 2024. Submitting an application does not guarantee you a spot; staff will review applications, and you will be notified week commencing July 1, 2024.

The scholarship will cover camp fees for the weekend of August 25, 2024. This will include camp activities, meals and shared accommodation in family cabins. The scholarship does not cover travel to and from the family camp. 

Camp Joy do not have an age requirement for family camps, however activities are planned for children aged 5 years and above. Families should make the decision on who attends that is best for them. The camp day can be long and tiring, so we encourage families to think about their children and what they might miss out on with children under 5 should they need to nap/step away from the planned activities. 

Those under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult to attend the camp.

Yes, as long as you are over 18 years old and are diagnosed with or suspect having EDS or HSD. 

Meals are included in the scholarship. We want all of our campers to have lots of energy and nutrition for their busy days and we will work hard with Camp Joy to provide lots of delicious, nutritious, safe, and child-friendly food that everyone will like. A variety of diets can be accommodated – vegetarian, gluten-free, allergies, etc. Please indicate any dietary needs/restrictions on your registration form. All meals in the dining hall have a fruit/salad option in addition to the main entrée served at tables. 

There are yurts, woodland cabins, and leadership cabins available, and your accommodation type will be allocated by the camp organizers based on each families requirements. The woodland and leadership cabins have bathrooms attached and the yurts have a bathroom a 3 minute walk away. All cabins have air conditioning and bunkbeds. Most cabins and yurts are ADA accessible, and cabin capacities vary from 4 – 16 people per cabin side. The camp organizers will contact successful applicants to discuss their families sleeping requests and sharing arrangements. 

A medical supervisor is on duty at Camp Joy 24 hours a day. All Camp Joy staff receives training in responding to various types of emergencies and practice responses at staff meetings. Medical experts in EDS and HSD will also be attending the camp. 

In the event of a medical emergency, EMS (911) will be called for help. EMS response time to camp is approximately 8 minutes and the nearest hospital, Clinton Memorial Hospital, is 12 miles from camp and 20 minutes drive away. 

Camp staff monitor the weather and will sound the alert in the event of a weather emergency (ex. tornado) and direct campers to appropriate shelter. 

Camp Joy takes the safety and security of campers very seriously. Video surveillance is used to monitor entrances and exits and other key locations on campus. 

In order to protect campers, staff, and the families they return home to, Camp Joy asks that all campers self-monitor for symptoms of illness (fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, etc.) for a minimum of 7 days prior to coming to camp. If you or your camper feels ill on the day of camp, please do not attend. 

As listed above, the following practices will be implemented for all youth programs.
• Handwashing/sanitizing will occur before and after every activity
• Physical distancing will be encouraged at all times
• Activities will be outside as much as possible – dress for the weather 

If you need to cancel, please contact the events team as soon as possible so we can offer your place to somebody else. 

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