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Summer Means Exclusion for Too Many Young Patients with Chronic Skin Conditions

 
Summertime is almost upon us.  Swimming at the beach, tanning, and camping are all classic summer activities for most of our patients, and as dermatology PAs we know this means extra warnings about sunscreen, the dangers of tanning, and even dealing with bug bites.  
 
For young people with chronic skin conditions, summer camp may not seem like an option.  That is where Camp Discovery comes in.
 
Camp Discovery is a special summer camp sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) for children and teenagers with chronic skin disorders.  This week-long camp offers boating, fishing, arts and crafts, campfires, and just plain fun. Camp Discovery has six locations around the United States in places like Minnesota, Texas, Connecticut, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
 
The AAD provides scholarships to campers, covering everything from transportation to meals. The camps are staffed by dermatologists and nurses and PAs, and all volunteers are trained to handle daily medical care regimens and medical emergencies. Many volunteers are adults who have similar skin disorders, and can provide special support and encouragement to the campers.  
 
Campers who’ve experienced Camp Discovery have said that being in a place where there is no “normal” is incredibly refreshing and liberating. Most campers return year after year, and form wonderful friendships with people who see past their skin disorder and accept them for who they are.  Campers are not limited by their diagnosis or their socioeconomic status, they are only limited by how much fun they want to have!
 
Patients must be referred to the camp by their medical provider, so if you know of a patient that would benefit from Camp Discovery, visit www.campdiscovery.org to learn more.  

[image by Joel Bedford]