Applications will be available from January 15 - February 15, 2020

Hope Heals Camp camper applications will be available for 30 days (from January 15 through February 15, 2020) at hopehealscamp.org. All applicants who complete the entire application, pay the full application fee, and connect with us through a phone interview* within the 30-day window will be eligible for selection in a lottery drawing for a spot at Camp. Applicants will be notified if they have been offered at spot at Camp or waitlisted by March 2020. 

*Campers who have previously attended Hope Heals Camp are not required to complete a phone interview.


What will I experience at Hope Heals Camp?

Hope Heals Camp is a time of respite, resourcing, and relaxation for families affected by disability. We strive to wholistically serve every member of a family unit, so we build our daily programming around the needs, abilities, and ages of our campers. Adults will enjoy times of worship, teaching, and small group discussion, while kids and teens experience a wide range of fun in recreation, arts and crafts, music, and Bible lessons. Afternoons are filled with more playtime for the kiddos and special gatherings for the men and women, plus a few hours dedicated to rest. At night we’ll celebrate together at some amazing parties, eat a lot of good food, and—most importantly—build lifelong friendships with other campers and volunteers.

Each camper with a disability will be paired with a Compassionate Companion (CC)—a new friend to serve as a helper, encourager, and buddy throughout the week. All children 8 and under (with or without disabilities) will also be paired with a buddy, so camper parents can rest easy and be fully present during their own programming.

Who can come to Hope Heals Camp as a camper?

Hope Heals Camp exists to serve individuals and entire families affected by disability. If you or your family member have a disability of any kind, you are invited to apply as a camper. Eligible applicants include:

  • families with a child with disabilities
  • families with a parent with disabilities,
  • a couple with a spouse with disabilities
  • an individual with disabilities accompanied by a friend or family member who is the main point person to aid in their special needs

Please note that we are not able to serve campers with significant psychiatric disabilities or campers who have posed physical danger to themselves or others in the past.

Can young children attend?

Yes! Young children (with or without disabilities) are welcomed to attend with their families. Preschoolers (birth to 3 years) are paired one-on-one with volunteers and placed in a nursery setting for lots of play and easy nap time coordination.

Can I bring a caregiver or nurse to Camp with my family?

Yes! If you require the assistance of an additional caregiver or nurse, we are happy to accommodate that request. Caregivers and nurses will be lodged at Camp. Because of limited lodging capacity and high demand, we ask that you only bring additional caregivers and nurses if absolutely necessary.

Please include caregivers and nurses on your family application.

Can my family attend both sessions of Hope Heals Camp?

Because of the high demand for and limited availablity of spots, each camper family is eligible for only one session of Hope Heals Camp.

Can my teen serve as a volunteer even if the rest of the family comes as campers?

Absolutely! If a member of your family would like to serve at Hope Heals Camp, they can indicate that preference on their application. To learn more about what it looks like to serve at Hope Heals Camp, visit our Volunteer Info Page.

Who are Compassionate Companions?

Our Compassionate Companions (CCs) will serve as your loved one's buddy at Camp and will accompany your camper to programming and free-time activities. All CCs are not responsible for medical care or toileting. CCs will be paired with campers based on age and gender. All CCs are over 18 and have been vetted through an application process and background check. We understand that all campers have unique situations and some may not desire to be paired with a buddy. Please email info@hopehealscamp.org if you have special pairing requests or needs.

What are the costs to attend?

All campers attend Hope Heals Camp for FREE! You are only responsible for the cost of travel to and from camp. We ask that camper applicants pay a $100 deposit per party to secure their spot. It will be refunded if we are unable to offer you a spot at Camp.

How do I apply?

Applications will be available in from January 15 to February 15 at hopehealscamp.org. You must complete the full application, submit the background check, and pay the $100 application fee (one per application/family) to be considered for a spot at Camp. All new applicants must complete a phone interview to be entered in the lottery.

What are the Camp accommodations?

Hope Heals Camp takes place at Camp McDowell, a beautiful, newly built retreat center in Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest. Camper families will stay in private lodging—a hotel-style room with 2 queen beds and a private bathroom. All lodges have a full kitchen (refrigerator, oven, microwave, and dishwasher) and laundry facilities.

If you have more than four family members attending Camp, you may be 1) placed in multiple rooms or 2) placed in a single room and asked to bring a sleeping bag or air mattress.

Can Hope Heals Camp accommodate my dietary restrictions?

The camp facility serves delicious food and is able to accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets. If you have further dietary needs, you will have access to a full kitchen, where you can prepare your own food.

Are camper families responsible for their own medical and toileting needs at Hope Heals Camp?

Yes. Each camper with disability is paired with a Compassionate Companion (CC) who will act as a friend and helper throughout the week, but CCs are not responsible for any medical, toileting, or transfer needs of the campers. Parents, spouses, and family members of campers are responsible for all medical, toileting, and transfer needs.

A Medical Crew of registered nurses, physical therapists, and/or physicians will be present at Camp. These medical professionals will only treat minor illness and injuries. If a camper requires urgent medical attention, emergency services will be contacted.

Can I get a ride from the airport to Hope Heals Camp?

All campers are responsible for their transportation to and from Hope Heals Camp.

What should I pack for Camp?

  • Comfortable warm weather clothes
  • Walking shoes and water shoes
  • Rain jacket and/or umbrella
  • Cap
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Cap
  • Prescription medication and medical equipment
  • Special food or snacks
  • Wheelchair and/or walker
  • Stoller for small children
  • Bible, notebook, and pen
  • Modest bathing suits
  • Pool towels
  • Toiletries
  • Cameras, phones, and chargers

When does Camp begin and end?

Campers will arrive at Camp between 2 and 5 pm on Monday afternoon. Camp will end by 12 pm on Friday.