Every summer, Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special welcomes over 600 children and teens with a wide range of multiple diagnoses for two weeks of fun, friendship, and personal growth. The medically supervised overnight camp experience features non-stop activities, bunk spirit, singing and dancing which encourage independence and build self-confidence. It is a unique opportunity for children fighting chronic illness to build a community of people with whom to share hopes and dreams as they grow. At this kosher overnight camp for sick kids and teens, campers trade hospital rooms and doctors’ offices for summers of fun and friendship that builds confidence and courage to persevere through adversity.

Until 2001, overnight summer camp was only a fantasy for children and teens with chronic and long term illnesses and disabilities. Now, the dream has come true. 


Our mission is to bring childhood back to children who lost it when they were diagnosed. To do that, we mix the best of camp activities – sports, arts and crafts, swimming and boating, camp shows, special events and activities – with the leadership of trained and compassionate counselors who specialize in keeping campers laughing from early morning to late at night.


Each camper has his or her own counselor, a guide and friend who ensures that every minute of camp life exceeds expectations. Our specialists ensure that children can follow their interests and hone their talents in arts and crafts, music, adaptive sports, dramatics, or a host of other activities.


From baseball to photography and videography, arts and crafts to boating, swimming to rocketry, talent shows to Color Wars, campers follow their interests and develop new skills in an environment created with them in mind. 


 As a result, Camps Simcha and Simcha Special are a place where “I can’t” is replaced by “Wow! That was fun!”


The camp’s medical and administrative staffs are experts in caring for children with serious or debilitating chronic disorders. As a result, we can welcome children dependent on wheelchairs or walkers, respirators, gastric tubes and other medical equipment. The camp is fully kosher, and special diets and feeding routines are accommodated.


Camp Simcha is located on a beautiful, 125-acre campus in New York’s scenic Catskill Mountains

For more information about Camp Simcha Special, visit their website here.

Camp Simcha and simcha Special campers

Come to an environment where he or she is no longer “that kid with cancer.” By normalizing illness, we give children the chance to be kids again, to enjoy themselves, to make friends, to forget about illness or to talk about it with the only people who will truly understand them.


Number of Canadian Clients Sent to Date

“Camp Simcha Special makes me feel like I am just a regular kid, no different than any other going to summer camp. I can't imagine my summers without this experience. Thank you!"

Our Donald Berman Chai Lifeline Canada Montreal division is a: Bénéficiaire de la Fédération Appel juif unifié/A beneficiary of Federation Combined Jewish Appeal