Camp HLC is a three-day, overnight retreat for children and young adults, ages 6-21, who have or have had a loved one battling ALS.
Through the generosity of our sponsors, the weekend retreat is free of charge to the ALS community!
Camp HLC supports young caregivers between the ages of x and z years of age, as well as the entire family, if the family so chooses. Camps are three day respite weekends where children find and build community with their peers whom are going through, or whom have gone through a similar ALS journey. Nestled in nature, traditional camp activities married with coping skills, self care and supported by qualified therapists, children gain tools to carry theme on their journey feeling connected and hopeful.
Free To Attend
Hope Loves Company prides itself on using tools rooted in best practices and trauma informed care. Our volunteers are trained in the basics of ALS and trauma in youth and our staff are comprised of qualified social workers, teachers and child life experts. Our trauma informed programming helps children understand how their bodies react to the stress of ALS while giving them tools, resources and support they need to work manage their ever changing needs on a daily basis.
ALS has a significant impact on the family financially and often leads to loss of income and need to invest in caregiving tools, devices and home modifications that are unplanned for and often unfunded. We firmly believe that all families and children should have access to the support and resources they need, when they need it. As such our programs are free for all to attend and made possible through the generosity of our supporters. Leveling the financial playing field means all children have access at Hope Loves Company.
We welcome our families and the loved ones of children whom are attending our camp and work to ensure that the facilities we host camp in are accessible to all. Because our team has lived experience as caregivers, we know what to look for in a great camp site and strive to anticipate the needs of our families who come with mobility aides, adaptive devices and support equipment related to ALS. Moreover, its the norm for our families, there's a community of support for all our participants, helping as needed.
Camp HLC has sites that run throughout the year and across the nation in each region, making most camps accessible to families with a short drive or quick flight. We strive to ensure that camps are centrally located near an airport for those who need to travel via air. We empower our families to choose the camp that best meets their scheduling and location needs and often our families use camp as a vacation and opportunity to explore new areas. Some families love camp so much they attend multiple a year!
Camp HLC Registration
New Jersey Camp: May 17 - 19 in Newton, NJ at YMCA Fairview Lakes
Massachusetts Camp: August 9 - 11 in Hinsdale, MA at Camp Emerson
Additional dates & locations coming soon!
Virtual Camp - Online
March 22 - 24, 2024
Who can attend Camp HLC?Hope Loves Company welcomes campers ages 6-21 who have or had a loved one with ALS. They may be accompanied by an adult chaperone, family member, or loved one. Additionally, PALs (People with ALS) are welcome to attend as our sites are wheelchair accessible. We strive to make our camps inclusive and welcoming to all who have been affected by ALS. If you have any questions about eligibility or accommodations, please don't hesitate to contact us.
What ages can attend Camp HLC?Our camps are geared for children and young adults ages 6-21. Campers can be accompanied by adult chaperones, family members, loved ones or PALs.
What is the fee to attend camp?Camp is free for our ALS families thanks to the generous support from our donors and sponsors. Please contact us if you're in need of travel assistance or financial support to attend camp.
How will my child be supervised?All campers are supervised by campground staff and HLC chaperones. HLC enjoys meals and activities together as a group. All of our cabins are together at the camp. There is a minimum of two chaperones per cabin and campers are required to be with a chaperone or buddy at all times. All staff and volunteers are required to pass a background check to ensure the safety and security of our campers and families.
What kind of volunteers is Hope Loves Company looking for?We are always in need of dedicated volunteers with special skills and experience working with children. If you have skills like leading arts and crafts, music, teaching, therapy, or any other relevant experience, those are always welcome. However, all volunteers must pass a background check before they can begin working with our organization. We take the safety and well-being of our kids very seriously, and we want to ensure that all volunteers are trustworthy and reliable. If you are interested in volunteering with Hope Loves Company, please fill out an application on our website and we will be in touch with you shortly. Thank you for your interest in our organization
How do I sign up my child for Camp HLC?Please visit our Programs page to find camp locations, dates, and to submit an application. Parents, guardians, or loved ones are welcome to accompany campers ages 6-21.
What resources do you offer?Hope Loves Company offers in-person and virtual support for children and families impacted by ALS. Our signature program is Camp HLC, a three-day weekend retreat for children and young adults and their families to experience peer support and tailored resources for the ALS journey. We also offer group hangouts, educational webinars, Hugs of Hope care packages, events, and more.
How can I support or donate to Hope Loves Company?Our programs are made possible through the generosity of our sponsors and donors. All donations are tax deductible and benefit our programs to support children and families throughout their ALS journeys. Please navigate to the Donate tab on our website menu, or send an email to learn more and connect with a member of our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
What should I pack?Suggested Items: Comfortable play clothing that may get wet, muddy or grass stained Bath towel/washcloth Pillow and sleeping bag or sheets/blanket Tooth brush, tooth paste, Toiletries Soap in soap box Sunblock 2 pair of shoes - rain boots, sneakers Insect repellent (non-aerosol) Medications Sweatshirt / Jacket Reusable water bottle Rain coat or poncho Allergy-friendly snacks Flashlight, Hand sanitizer, Tissues Items to Leave at Home: Computers Video Games iPods DVD players TVs, Radios Pocket Knives
What are the cabins like?Most cabins have electricity and full bathrooms with showers. The cabins have heat and windows. Each cabin has bunk beds. All HLC campers will be together in a group of cabins. Males sleep together in a cabin(s) and females sleep together in another cabin(s).
What are the activities like?YMCA activities are led by YMCA staff. YMCA staff are friendly, engaging and well qualified to lead group activities. HLC staff will also lead some group activities. Some of the activities are divided by age. The activities are fun and encourage team building exercises. HLC does all activities together as a group. Activities vary by camp and season, but may include: Hiking and Nature Walks Campfire Songs & S’mores Rock Climbing Fishing Arts & Crafts Group Shares Journaling Workshop Swimming Archery Yoga Obstacle Course Team Building Coping Strategies Mental Health Counselors For Campers Ages 6-21
What happens in case of an emergency?Most campsite staff are trained in CPR, first aid, oxygen use and AED (automated external defibrillator) use. There are YMCA staff at the camp 24 hours a day. Most cabins are equipped with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Emergency YMCA numbers are provided to HLC chaperones. Emergency phones are available in the dining hall.
Where can families who are not attending camp stay locally?Families can stay in a local hotel that Hope Loves Company can assist in finding.
What is the food like? Can special dietary needs be accommodated?The food is provided by the YMCA. All meals are in the dining hall, and are eaten together as a group. The meals are varied, nutritious and delicious! A salad bar is usually provided. Bring a water bottle to refill during your stay. We must know food allergies ahead of time and please only bring healthy snacks to camp. Yes, special dietary needs can be accommodated. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have special dietary needs.
How is the cell phone service?Cell phone service at a camp can be limited. In case of an emergency, with no cell phone service, campers can be reached by calling the campground directly. Some camps offer Wi-Fi for adults and staff.