Frequently Asked Questions
ABOUT HOPE WITH HEART
For a child with a congenital heart disease, Hope With Heart is a place for them to be included. We are a non-profit organization for children ages 7-17 years old. We provide families an opportunity to let their child experience a free, week-long summer camp with kids just like them. These kids and their families live with a great hope. The hope is that they will grow to maturity and that as they do their lives will focus on the positive attributes they possess. They need to be encouraged to discuss their health, their limitations, and to understand that their situation can provide them other qualities and talents. They need to walk proudly and with self-assurance. One tool available to encourage their positive attitudes is for these kids to witness each other. This they do at Hope With Heart.
Located in Warren County, New Jersey, Hope With Heart provides support and friendships for its campers. The children come from various backgrounds but quickly realize that they have a lot in common. Many of our campers go on to become counselors once they turn 18. Hope With Heart has helped to establish many lasting friendships and can truly be described as a family.
A pediatric cardiologist works closely with Hope With Heart as Medical Director. He reviews all applications for appropriateness and is on call throughout the camp session. Hope With Heart provides all normal camp medical needs. In addition, a heart monitor, oxygen, and other heart related medical supplies are on the premises, under the supervision of two cardiac care camp nurses. A full-time Camp Director, an Activities Director, and three or four additional counselors per camper cabin are hired directly by Hope With Heart.
Each day of camp, the kids take part in exciting activities. Our Activities Director ensures every child is included no matter their limitations. We go swimming, make arts and crafts, have daily cabin challenges, and take field trips. In the past, some of our trips have included miniature golf, bowling, a movie at a drive-in theater and a water park. We end every evening with a camp-wide activity. We sing, we dance, we roast marshmallows around the camp fire, but most of all we make lasting memories.
Hope With Heart is a safety net for many children. It is a safe environment where no one is alone. Children discuss their scars, their hospital stays and can feel like the regular kids they are. We pride ourselves on being a camp where everyone is included. We invite you to join us!
How do I know if my child qualifies medically for camp?
At Hope With Heart, we accept any child ages 7-17 years old with moderate to severe congenital heart disease. There are medical requirements that must be met along with filling out the application located on this site. The requirements are as follows: A recent EKG. A recent letter from the pediatric cardiologist as we need the cardiac status in detail. A recent physical, preferably from the cardiologist. The physical paperwork should include allergies, if any. We also need the vaccine status and all current medications. If the child has a device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, we need to receive the functional status of this from the referring electrophysiologist. Prior to camp we will also discuss any special medical needs or concerns such as oxygen equipment or behavioral issues.
Where will my child be staying/sleeping during the week of camp?
Every child is assigned to a group/cabin based on their age. That group will stay in a cabin with 3-4 counselors who are assigned to the group. Each cabin has bunk beds, a bathroom with a shower, and an air conditioner. Bedding is to be provided by the parents/guardians and is listed in our “What to bring” section.
What type of activities will my child be participating in during the week?
Our entire schedule for the week is carefully planned by our Activities Director and reviewed by our Director. The Activities Director takes into consideration the physical limitations of campers. The campers will go to the pool daily, weather permitting. We have an arts and crafts session daily, as well as a Cabin Challenge. Our morning activities vary daily but in the past have included water games, a carnival, and games. At night we have activities such as karaoke, a sunset dance, a movie night and a talent show.
How should I send my child’s medication?
All medication should be sent in a ziplock bag, clearly marked with the child’s name. During check in, the child as well as the parent will meet with our nurses and cardiologist to go over any medications.
Does my child need to bring any money for the week?
No. Everything is provided by Hope With Heart and we ask that you do not send any money with them.
Can my child bring electronics?
Cell phones are not permitted, whatsoever, at camp. We believe in fully being a part of the camp experience. Any cell phones found during the week will be held by the Director until the parent picks the child up. Campers can bring iPods or small screen consoles, but are only permitted to use them at certain times while in the cabin. We do not encourage any electronics be sent to camp. They will be the family’s responsibility and if harmed in any way, will not be the responsibility of Hope With Heart.
Do I need to provide any food/snacks for my child?
No. Hope With Heart provides 3 meals a day for each camper. We also provide snacks throughout the day. The campers are also provided with water bottles and it is camp policy that they are filled all day with water.
How do I get to/what is the address of camp?
We purposely do not list the address of camp on our website. Please email the Director for any and all camp location information.
What does my child need to bring to camp?
All bedding – sheets, blankets, pillows, (light blanket or sleeping bag if preferred) etc.
A bathing suit or two (we go to the pool every day)
Old sneakers or pool shoes
Toiletries – shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, SUNSCREEN, personal hygiene items, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, hairbrush, etc.
Socks for the week
Regular camp clothes – t-shirts, shorts, sneakers, etc
Please leave any and all valuables at home!
The Director will contact you directly as we get close to camp to give you a drop off time and answer any further questions you may have. During the week, the Director will update the Facebook page as often as possible to inform parents of what we are doing. Please never hesitate to email the Director if you have further questions.