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Program Details


Activities Offered
  • Camp
  • Softball
  • Various Recreational Activities
  • Accessible by Public Transportation: No

  • Transportation Provided by the Program: No


Birch Family Camp is a residential camp/retreat for children with HIV and their family. The camp provides "a week in the country" with respite, recreation, education and support to families who are coping with AIDS, but also dealing with a confluence of poverty, substance abuse, family difficulties, and psychological illness including depression and isolation. Some families describe their seven day camp experience as the only break from their stressful and sometimes overwhelming burdens, replacing despair with hope.

This is the largest camp in the United States that serves children with HIV/AIDS and their families. There are two one-week sessions every August, located in the Putnam Valley, New York, seventy-five minutes from Manhattan. A total of 54 families will attend camp. Children participate with their peers in typical camp activities including: campfires, swimming, arts & crafts, softball, music, and nature.

Trained counselors are with the children 24 hours a day. Social workers and psychologists work with both infected and healthy siblings to cope with the ramifications of HIV within the family unit. Also, the infirmary is staffed 24 hours a day by doctors and nurses to provide the highest quality of care.

Applications must be completed and returned by May 1. They must include immunization records for children under 18. Since the amount of paperwork for the registration process is extensive, it is recommended that families get the application as early as possible to make the May 1 deadline. Call the camp office for application. The number of family members attending camp is needed in order for the application to be sent.