Frequently Asked Questions


Q:What goes on at JA Camp?
A:At JA Camp, our activities and schedule very closely resemble that of a traditional summer camp, but with adaptations that make our programming more accessible to campers with a wide range of needs. Some activities might include horseback riding, archery, arts and crafts, swimming, rock wall climbing, and high or low ropes courses. We also include special programming that we call intentionally set programming, which are activities that incorporate educational components and create positive change for our campers. This programming typically focuses on social, emotional, and mental health, improving physical health, and better experience of medical care.

Q:What is the cost of camp?
A:JA Camp is $25 for resident camp, and $50 for a family of 4 for family camp. If you need assistance with this cost please contact us at

Q:What are the sleeping arrangements?
A:Most JA Camp facilities have cabins with bathroom/showers. Housing is separated by gender. Camp Counselors also reside in the cabins with campers.

Q:What is the age range for campers?
A:For most camps, our camper age range is 8-17 years old. KATFISH Camp and National Virtual Camp are exceptions to this.

Q:Can a child with other non-rheumatic conditions still attend camp?
A:One of the requirements to attend camp is that the camper is diagnosed with juvenile arthritis or childhood rheumatic disease. A child may still be able to attend camp if they have additional health conditions, but this will likely warrant a discussion with the camp’s medical director (or mental health director if the condition is a mental health condition). Whether or not a child with an additional health condition can attend camp is left to the sole discretion of the medical director (or mental health director) of the camp.

Q:How soon will I receive information on the camps after I register?
A:Please allow 2 to 4 weeks from the time you submit your child’s registration application until you are notified. If you have any questions or have not heard back from us after 4 weeks, please reach out to

Q:Can my camper bring a phone to record memories?
A:Arthritis Foundation aims to give our campers a break from technology. For this reason, cell phones and smart watches are not allowed. Camp staff will be able to be available by phone or email in case of emergencies. Staff will post photos and updates to keep parents aware of camp events since we understand that separation can be difficult. Some families have found that a mid-week letter or parcel helps their campers.

Q:What should my camper pack?
A:A suggested packing list will be sent with the parent planning packet prior to camp. Although camp is a well-equipped facility, it’s important to remember we are still surrounded by nature and spend as much time outdoors as possible. This means chilly mornings/evenings, bugs, camp fires, swimming, sun, and did we say bugs?

Q:What if my camper is homesick?
A:Many of our camper’s experience homesickness, especially if this is their first time away. We have child mental health professionals and nurses on staff who are experts at treating homesickness. We typically find that campers positively adjust to the transition after 24 hours. If a camper is still struggling after 48 hours, we will have them call home for peace-of-mind. We find that calling home prior to this time can exacerbate feelings of homesickness.?

Q:What kind of physical activity will campers be participating in, and should I be concerned about my camper being able to participate?
A:Physical activity is very important for patients with rheumatic disease, though pain can limit how much or what a camper can do. Staff are trained to understand the effects of our camper’s diseases and how to modify activities if necessary. Many of our volunteers also live with rheumatic conditions. Thus, most of our activities are designed to make equitable and enjoyable accommodations possible. Campers are encouraged to participate as much as they can. However, on-site nurses, rheumatologists, and physical therapists are always available to support your camper. We also schedule rest breaks each day to limit pain and swelling. If necessary, parents will be contacted to discuss your camper’s needs.?