Has anyone elses MDA camp been canceled? My husband is a councilor every year and was supposed to leave in the morning and Justin was supposed to leave sunday morning. We got a call at 5pm tonight saying the national headquarters had canceled all remaining MDA camps due to swine flu. I am angry that they are cancelling it and angry that they waited til 5pm tonight!! Anyone elses been canceled? Justin is devaststed....


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Yes, I just got the call. I am also a bit grumpy. This was going to be our 1st year and Kian was so looking forward to it. Now his heart is broken.
We haven't heard anything here in Michigan. Camp is supposed to start a week from Sunday.
Yes, I just got a call from our San Francisco MDA office and the National Headquarters cancelled all camps today nationwide due to swine flu. She told me there are some kids at camp now that have to leave and go home............so sad, but they are being cautious. Our camp is scheduled for Aug 10 to 16, almost 2 months away. Wow -- we are so bummed. It would have been Alex's first camp.
There was a link on the MDA site earlier that said MDA camp program cancelled, but when you clicked on it, it was dead. Now the whole link is gone.

There's a few news stories on the web that are saying all remaining camps are cancelled, nationwide, as a precaution against swine flu. One story says that two people that attended camp had been hospitalized, one released already.

I'm angry too, Samantha. This was going to be our guy's first year for camp.

I can think of any number of ways that the swine flu risk could have been minimized. Cancelling the whole thing nationwide is an overreaction of monumental proportions. The CDC is not recommending that camps be cancelled. Most states have only local, or sporadic infections. CDC has a whole webpage dedicated to managing H1N1 infection risk in a camp setting.

This is the cover your ass way to deal with this. This decision was not made in the interest of the kids that MDA raised $187 million in the name of in 2007. I wonder if MDA would MDA recommend that everyone keep their kids home from school this Fall also?

How about setting up a system to minimize the risk, give the parents the facts, and then let the parents decide whether they want to send their kids or not? Nah - let's just cancel the whole thing....
Yes, I just got a call from a mom who has a (non-refundable) trip planned and just found out with less than 48 hours notice that she doesn't have respite care!!! At 5:00 on Friday night there aren't any agencies available to help with respite care, etc. The kids are crushed and MDA doesn't seem to care!!!

If it truly was Swine Flu, why did the first week of camp happen?!?!?!?!
They're sending kids home that are already at camp? Is someone sick at the camp, or just as a precaution?

That's terrible about your friend's situation, Angela. I'm sure she won't be the only one caught up in something like that.

Letters and phone calls to their national headquarters are certainly in order. Here's the contact info if anyone's interested:

Muscular Dystrophy Association
3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718
tel: (888) 435-7632

Gerald Weinberg President, CEO
I just got a form e-mail from MDA.......its all bull****. Here is what I got

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Dearing,

As you're aware, since 1955 MDA has supported some 90 summer camp sessions across the country allowing youngsters with a neuromuscular disease an opportunity to experience an unforgettable week at MDA summer camp.

The Association has just completed holding its thirty-third MDA camp session for 2009. In recent days we've had several camp sessions report confirmed cases of the Swine flu (H1N1) among camp participants, some of whom were hospitalized as a result of the infection.

According to the CDC, those most severely affected by H1N1 are children and young adults. This, coupled with the fact that MDA campers are more susceptible to life-threatening complications from H1N1 due to pulmonary and immunosuppressive issues associated with a neuromuscular disease diagnosis, has led MDA to the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of its 2009 camp season. The CDC fully endorses MDA's position.

This is an unprecedented decision in the history of MDA's camp program. The decision is based solely on MDA's commitment to the health of campers we serve, as well as that of the volunteers who dedicate a week of their time to serve as camp counselors.

While nothing compares to the magic of MDA camp, we are exploring ways to provide campers affected by this decision with special opportunities to enjoy summer fun. In addition, for those who are 17 years old and who would be graduating from MDA camp this summer, we’ll be including plans for a special graduation event for them. We'll keep everyone posted as these opportunities develop.
Kindest regards...

Jennifer Lopez
Associate Director of Health Care Services
Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc.
3300 E. Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718
520-529-2000 Phone
520-529-5454 Fax
The official word:

TUCSON, Ariz., June 19, 2009 — Due to overriding concern for the health and safety of Jerry’s Kids, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) announced today that it is immediately canceling the remainder of its annual summer camp program because of the H1N1 virus.

“These children are much more vulnerable because of their weakened respiratory muscles, so we are taking this preemptive action to protect them from possible exposure to the swine flu,” said Dr. Valerie Cwik, MDA medical director.

Approximately 1,800 children have attended 33 MDA summer camps in the past month, with another 2,500 scheduled to attend the remaining 47 camps that have now been canceled. An equal number of volunteer counselors also attend each camp.

Out of 1,800 children who’ve attended MDA camps this year, 11 cases of swine flu were reported after the children left camp. Six suspected cases have been reported at the MDA Summer Camp in Worcester, Pa., which ends tomorrow.

One child from the Pennsylvania camp has been hospitalized and is in stable condition. Another child, who attended camp in Utah, was hospitalized, treated and released. In Minnesota, 10 cases of swine flu were reported after camp ended there June 12.

On Friday, MDA conferred with officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, who concurred with the decision to cancel the camps as being “the prudent thing to do” based on the fact that these children are at such high risk for complications from the flu virus.

All children registered for camp as well as camp counselors, medical staff, paramedics and other volunteers are screened for any possible exposure to swine flu, as recommended by the CDC. Some volunteers were turned away based on this screening. However, a person may be infected with the virus and be contagious before actual symptoms appear, according to Cwik.

MDA mobilized its entire staff nationwide today to notify family members and volunteer counselors concerning the decision to cancel the camps.

“We know how much summer camp means to Jerry’s Kids and their families who look forward to this happy week all year long. But with 11 confirmed cases and six suspected cases in three states, we can’t risk the health of the children who would be attending the camps,” said Gerald C. Weinberg, MDA president and CEO. “We have an obligation to the parents of these children to ensure that safety is our top priority.”

The MDA summer camp program began in 1955 with one camp in New Jersey. Today, it serves more than 4,300 children.

About MDA

MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat muscular dystrophy and related diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, advocacy and far-reaching professional and public health education.
I'll be very anxious to talk to Jennifer about the statement that CDC supports their position, because the information CDC posted says nothing about cancelling camps. Don't bother calling MDA right now, I tried, and the number rings with no voice mail or message ever picking up.

Yes, many MDA campers are more susceptible. The risk can be greatly minimized, and in fact in a controlled, managed, highly supervised environment like MDA camp, you'd probably be safer than being out in the general public. They have medical personnel on site, for pete's sake. It's certainly safer than going to school.

Here's how one article stated CDC's position.
"CDC officials are recommending that parents call ahead to their child's camp and ask what kind of measures are being taken to keep kids safe. Camps should have someone who can screen sick children and separate the sick from the healthy. And CDC officials are stressing the importance of good hand hygiene."

Again, in my opinion, this wasn't MDA's decision to make. Parents should have been making the choice.
By the way, according to the numbers in that release, less than 1% of campers became ill. How many of the 17 (6 of which are suspected swine flu and not confirmed) actually caught it at the camp, and how much less would the chance of getting it be now that you know to be on the lookout for it and could take more preventative measures. Only 2 kids were even hospitalized. That's 0.1% of campers.
We were packed and ready to head to camp tommorow and got a call around 5:30 tonight.
This is Ryans 4 th year and actually the first year he was excited about going. In the past he had been very nervous. Oh, well. what can we do? Not alot!
Perhaps the MDA can donate the entire cost of running camp for the rest of the summer to their MVP program, which is supposed to fund research. Maybe that way, they'll actually give a researcher more than pocket money...

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