Dreams from the Heart Camp was created in 1994 for children with severe congenital heart disease many of whom are limited and unable to participate in camps designed for “healthy” children. Our camp allows these children to enjoy a total camping experience under the watchful eyes of cardiologists and nurses. Several of our original campers have now become staff members and continue to come to camp, giving others the continued support that is needed. The children enjoy the pleasures of swimming, canoeing, going to an amusement part, fishing on a pontoon boat, and so much more. They may participate in games and arts and crafts. The camp also offers a unique opportunity to discuss health concerns with peers and with cardiologists through the “Ask the Doctor” meetings.
Each summer, children from all over Western New York who have had surgical intervention have the opportunity to enjoy this relaxed, medically supervised setting for four days at absolutely no cost to their families.
Dreams from the Heart Camp provides a structured and supervised recreational outlet for children with complex heart disease. Many of these children are unable to attend other camps due to the complexity of their physical and medical needs. Dreams from the Heart Camp provides an environment that allows these children to build self-confidence. The camp also provides an unencumbered forum for these children to ask questions of the medical team that might otherwise not surface in an intimidating medical office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who may attend Camp?
A: Campers are invited by Pediatric Cardiology Associates in Buffalo.
Q: What will I need to pay?
A: All food, entertainment, lodging, and transportation are provided at no cost to campers thanks to the generosity of some great folks in our community.
Q: How can I help?
A: Please go to the How to Help page. You will be amazed at how easy it is to help make a difference.
Q: Where is camp?
A: Camp is located at the Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center in Bemus Point on Lake Chautauqua.
Q: How do I get to camp?
A: Transportation is provided to and from camp from the Pediatric Cardiology Associates Office in Buffalo. Drop off / pickup information will be provided at the time of registration.
Q: Can I accompany my child?
A: No, you’ve got to sit this one out. Parents, this is a great opportunity for you and your child to have a worry-free camping experience — worry-free for the parents because the camp is run and staffed by your child’s doctors, nurses, former campers, and carefully selected volunteers; worry-free for the camper because they will be with a whole group of kids who have walked their path, have the same limitations, and have a common need to sometimes be just like everyone else.