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....

--Samantha

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We just got the call too. My son is 16 years old and has been going to camp since he was 8. He almost literally lives for this camp every year. I haven’t told him yet that it was canceled, but I know he will be very upset. He even designed a website last year because he was so upset with the change in age limit ( http://www.anthonysabilities.com/mdacamp/ )

I am concerned too about school in the fall. As Keith said, "I wonder if MDA would recommend that everyone keep their kids home from school this Fall also?" I’d also like to know if MDA would give us the necessary medical paperwork to give the schools so we could choose to get “home schooling” for our kids in the fall. I had a meeting with our school and unless the school closes, our son would be expected to show up for class every day.
We were the camp that got the call 2 days after being home that 2 kids had confirmed H1N1, so we got to go to camp, then got to sit and watch our kid like a hawk for 2 days waiting to see if the virus showed up. Obviously the parents that sent their kids had no idea they were exposed, my sister in law was Xavier's attendant and she knew that one kid spikes a high temp on Wednesday on the little kid side of camp, thankfully not his cabin. The other child was on the older kid side of camp, unrelated to the other. They had to wait until they got the H1N1 confirmation to be able to call us. That was 700 phone calls they had to make, and I don't know if everyone ever got reached. I don't know if any other kids came down with it, but you can guess the nightmare of 2 cases on separate sides of camp with all of the immunocompromised kids around. Look at the boy scout camp with healthy kids that had so many affected.
It really sucks for the boys, but what else can they do? I can attest that H1N1 came to camp. (by the way we were at the Minnesota camp)
I still would have liked the opportunity to make the decision myself.

All the money is already spent. Not every kid that goes to camp is immunocompromised. Not every kid has a respiratory deficiency. Not every area of the country has widespread activity of swine flu - MN, PA, and UT where these cases occured are reported as regional and widespread activity by CDC - the two highest categories.

We all accept and manage risk with our children on a daily basis. Whether it's what medications they take, the clinical trials they participate in, or the activities we involve them in.

MDA made this decision for us, after less than 1% of the campers became ill. That's the part I have a problem with.
Personally....I would sue them for the expense lost without given efficient warning to those who have planned to be away and is non-refundable.

i don't think the mda cares to think of the losses of the families. they don't. They were really inconsiderate to families. better look at those terms you signed to make sure they don't have it in there, cuz if they do unforunately it is a loss, but if they don''t get them to reimburse you.

after all...if the mda has the courage to spend donated money on sueing parents for stupid stuff, we should have the right to sue them for this type of inconsiderate and stupidity.

hence why I hate them!! sometimes I think they are trouble then good! just my opinon....oh i better watch out what I say, they probably will sue me for just saying this. what happened to freedom of speech.
It's the sue-happy mentality that slows research in this country AND leads the MDA to cancel camp for fear of being sued over a kid getting sick as a result of being at camp with an infected camper. I say, take the trip and enjoy a family vacation.

The swine flu is no more or less deadly than any other flu, so it seems, but the media hype is fueling an unrational fear that, unfortunately, has led to camp cancellations. Ewan was at the Utah camp and we got a call the day after camp ended. We don't know who was sick or how they are doing, but the child did go into the hospital. My wife and I have had a cold in the last couple of days, but luckily Ewan still has a very strong immune system despite being on Prednisone for over two years now.

I feel horrible for all of the kids who have to miss camp this year. It has become the biggest bright spot in Ewan's whole year. The other day, I came home from work and sat down next to him. All he said was "359 days." I knew immediately what he meant.

Dee said:
Personally....I would sue them for the expense lost without given efficient warning to those who have planned to be away and is non-refundable.
Beverly, what state are you in? I can't imagine not being allowed to home school. That seems illegal to me. We have home schooled most of our children at one point or another and are currently home schooling Ewan, He is learning so much more from us in a much shorter amount of time.

Actually, I just noticed that you are in NJ. Take a look at this homeschooling resource page for your state: http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/laws/blNJ.htm
It would appear that it is much easier to home school than they are making it appear. You don't even have to tell the scholl of your intent to home school. If you need any help with this, please send me a PM. Also, I just told Ewan about Anthony and how upset he's going to be when he finds out about camp. He's only 8, but he said he'd be happy to email and talk to him and tell him how sorry he is. These kids sure do bond with other campers, don't they? Even ones they've never met.

Beverly DeVergillo said:
I’d also like to know if MDA would give us the necessary medical paperwork to give the schools so we could choose to get “home schooling” for our kids in the fall. I had a meeting with our school and unless the school closes, our son would be expected to show up for class every day.
I'll second that Mindy!

Mindy said:
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...
Jerry, I don’t think I meant “home schooling” but home tutoring where the school provides at-home instruction. The media and MDA are making me believe that our kids should not go anywhere in order to protect them from possible exposure to the swine flu. We got a call from our son’s school last week saying that many kids and faculty were absent or in the nurse’s office with flu-like symptoms. The school could not confirm it was the swine flu because so many people have it and the county was no longer testing for it. Since Anthony only had exams last week, he was able to stay in one room by himself for his exams.

I want to prepare the school for September, but I’m not sure what our options are. Do we send our kids to school knowing that the swine flu is around, or do we ask for home instruction. Normally, with home instruction the child has to be out sick for more than two weeks. In our case, our son would be home as a preventative measure and not sick. With home instruction, I’m sure we would need a lot of backup medical letters, etc. That’s what I’m wondering if MDA would help with that.

As for MDA Camp, we told Anthony and he was/is very sad. Just last week he also counted the days until his first day of camp. Since he is 16 years old, his last year of camp will be next year. He commented that MDA owes him another year now. Unfortunately, I know that will never happen.
I'm sorry to hear that some of you are so upset with MDA. I agree it is a cover your a$$ mentality, but what would all of you say a child died of swine flu at an MDA summer camp? I would rather have my child disappointed and alive then go to camp and risk severe illness. I feel for the parents who have unreimbursable travel expenses and for that, I think MDA should work with those parents to reimburse them with camp monies.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I just disagree with many of the statements in this discussion.
Of course, if a child died, that would be terrible. No one has died, though. Or even been in a life threatening situation, from the reports I've read, so that's not what we're talking about.

Everyone has different tolerance for risk. As I pointed out, the numbers suggest the risk of contracting swine flu at camp was low, and actions could have been taken to reduce what risk there was. For some - any degree of risk is too much, because the complications could be devastating.

This was a risk that I, personally for our situation, would gladly have accepted. Others are in different positions, with different levels of tolerance, and I certainly would understand their decision not to accept it.

The issue I have is that MDA made a blanket decision for all of us, when the risk of even becoming sick at all was low (less than 1%), and the risk of being sick enough to be hospitalized was ten times lower than that (0.1%).

As far as the home tutoring discussion, I think what you want, Beverly, is a statement from CDC - a government entity, not MDA. I'll make some calls this week and see if I can find out who at CDC "concurred with MDA's decision", because I think this has direct bearing on school attendance in the Fall.
I think the other issue is that the staff at the camps cannot take the risk of being exposed. I'm not talking the volunteers for the MDA, I'm talking the actual camp workers. Many of the camps run a different camp every week. Just because the MDA kids are not all immunocompromised doesn't mean that exposing the food workers, camp fishing/boating instructors etc to H1N1 doesn't harm the kid that comes to cancer camp the next week. Here in MN, Camp Courage has a different camp every week for kids with many ailments but their main staff will stay the same for the two kitchens, boat dock/fishing dock, care and maintenance staff.
I don't think the MDA made this decision lightly. I am not the hugest MDA fan, but obviously they knew this would not be the greatest publicity for them either. But I wonder if the actual camps were cancelling camps also. Something to ponder.
I called the camp we use....when I talked to them. MDA was the only cancellation of the summer so far.

--Samantha

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