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Program Details


Activities Offered
  • Archery
  • Camp
  • Canoeing
  • Ropes Course
  • Various Recreational Activities
Building Access
  • Meets ADA standards

Staff Training and Certification
  • Staff Training: Our staff is composed of volunteers, Arthritis Foundation staff and medical professionals over the age of 21. They are selected because of their experience with and interest in working with children who have a chronic disease. Our counselors serve as positive role models who participate in all camp activities, sleep in the rooms with the children and provide friendship to the campers. Our medical staff consists of Rheumatologists, Rheumatology nurses and other healthcare professionals who are available on-site, twenty-four hours a day.

Participants Served
  • Age range of participants: 8 to 17

  • Accessible by Public Transportation: No

  • Transportation Provided by the Program: Yes

    A bus will leave from Childrens Hospital Los Angeles with pick-up stops at Children's Hospital Orange County and in San Bernardino.


Established in 1985, Camp Esperanza (Spanish for "Hope") is a summer camp for children with arthritis and related diseases organized by the Arthritis Foundation, Southern California Chapter.

Located at the YMCA Camp Harold F. Whittle in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear, CA, the camp is a three session, five-day/four-night sleepover camp for children between the ages of 8 - 17 with any form of arthritis or related disease.

Campers and counselors stay in Wagner Lodge, with no more than three campers to one counselor per room. The lodge has central heating and bathrooms located in each room. All buildings at camp are wheelchair accessible and all the activity areas can be reached either by foot, wheelchair and/or van.

Camp provides well-planned, safe activities that are fun and challenging.

Programs are designed to help campers make new friends, feel part of a group, feel good about themselves, and discover new skills and interests.

Activities include:
  • Horseback Riding
  • Swimming
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Canoeing
  • Ropes/Challenge course
  • Archery
  • Theme Days
  • Team Building Activities