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Because childhood should be simple ...

Camp MDA

The best times are spent with friends. And some of the best memories are the fun times spent with friends at summer camp. Camp MDA is a special place where, for one whole week, kids can be kids. It's a chance to grow, explore nature, experience outdoor adventures, discover self-confidence, and make lifelong friends. All in a world where the only thing that makes you stand out from everyone else is the size of your smile.

Camp MDA is a summer camp program sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. They offer camps throughout the United States for children and teens living with the various diagnoses that fall under the Muscular Dystrophy umbrella. Children and teens from Cook Children’s attend camp at Camp John Marc in Meridian, Texas.

Camp MDA objectives

The is camp provides a great opportunity for kids and teens to experience new things like horseback riding, boating, acting etc. in an environment that has been adapted to ensure their success and safety. Other goals include:

Camp staffing

Specially trained volunteers, including fire-fighters; physical therapy, child life, occupational therapy, and medical students; and long-time supporters of the MDA, provide care, support and encouragement throughout the week. A medical team comprised of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and a child life specialist are also present to support both counselors and campers. The medical team members are both Cook Children’s Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center Dallas employees.

Camper selection

Patients, ages 7 to 17 with muscular dystrophy, are invited to attend. The medical team makes all final decisions about campers, ensuring that they are all strong and healthy enough to enjoy the week safely. Applications are available in the New Year from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

What do we do at Camp MDA?

Each camper participates in a daily project as well. Projects vary from year-to-year but often include the following: Glee club (choir), dance, the Picasso Project (painting), photography, videography/movie making, and more.

Camp John Marc practices “challenge by choice” which means that no camper will be forced into a challenge beyond their comfort level. They will be given opportunities and encouragement to stretch and grow but will never be required to do an activity that is beyond their physical or emotional ability.

Camp MDA info and application call 888.548.9716 or email

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