Kids sitting in circleThe Camp High Hopes Summer Camp Program is the main focus of the organization. Occurring during the month of August and lasting one week (Sunday to Saturday for the campers and Saturday to Saturday for the counselors) the Summer Camp Program entitled “Camp High Hopes” has provided a summer camp for boys (ages 7-17) with bleeding disorders every year since the late 1980s. The staff is required by New York State Law to arrive one day early and attend Staff Orientation.

Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and VonWillebrand’s Disease require specialized knowledge and care. Most other summer camps in existence either cannot or will not accept children with such disorders into their program. For this reason, Camp High Hopes Inc. offers these children a camp of their own where they can have the summer camp experience safely, while at the same time learning independence & self-reliance coupled with the skills needed to get there.

In many ways, the Camp High Hopes Summer Camp Program is much like any other summer camp. Activities include things such as Swimming, Archery, Arts & Crafts, Field Games, Sports, Bonfires and so on. The difference between Camp High Hopes and most other camp programs is in our staff, the training, and our specialized activities.

All of the counselors for Camp High Hopes are volunteers and Camp High Hopes Inc. does not offer any payment or compensation for their time. Most of our staff has some connection to the bleeding disorders community and have in depth knowledge of the conditions involved. Our Health Directors have been Hemophilia Treatment Center RNs or NPs, from the federally recognized and funded HTC system. As a summer camp in New York State, we are required to obtain a permit from the Department of Health each year for the camp program. The NYS DOH has gone as far as to talk about Camp High Hopes on their website as what a special needs camp should be and even modeling many of their policies and requirements after the policies of Camp High Hopes.

At the end of the week it is the hopes of Camp High Hopes Inc. that the campers at the Summer Camp Program leave with skills and confidence that will lead to a higher quality of life for years to come. The more specialized parts of our program prepare them for the future with activities such as self-infusion classes (where they learn from professionals how to give themselves their own medications), team and self-confidence building activities and the chance to try new skills such as wood-working, glass work, fishing and so on.