Every summer, Camp Simcha Special welcomes 230 children and teens with a wide range of multiple diagnoses for two weeks of fun, friendship, and personal growth. Non-stop activities, bunk spirit, singing and dancing 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.

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

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. Each camper has his or her own trained counselor, a guide and special friend who ensures that every minute of camp life exceeds expectations. As a result, Camp Simcha Special is 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 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