Camp Lionheart helps young heart warriors explore the great outdoors

August 15, 2018

HERSHEY, Pa. — Twenty-five children and teens with congenital heart conditions spent a week from July 29 to Aug. 3 camping in the woods of Lebanon County and making lifelong friends.

Camp Lionheart, located at Camp Kirchenwald near Colebrook, Pennsylvania, welcomes campers ages 10 to 18 who share an important bond — they all are survivors of heart surgery or are living with heart disease.

See photos of the campers in action on the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Flickr page.

The children and teens enjoyed participating in activities such as swimming, hiking, kayaking, a ropes course, softball, a butterfly release, arts and crafts and more.

The idea for Camp Lionheart started in 2015 when pediatric cardiologist Dr. Thomas Chin and Penn State Children’s Hospital began making plans for a summer camp program for children with heart conditions. The camp opened in July 2016. Children’s Hospital nurses and physicians volunteer at the camp to provide coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, two Life Lion EMS paramedics also volunteer their time.

Camp Lionheart is free thanks to private donations and support from several organizations, including the Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network. Rite Aid also hosts a charity golf tournament each spring and donates a portion of the funds raised to Children’s Miracle Network and Camp Lionheart.

Other co-sponsors are Penn State Children’s Heart Group and Ellie’s Heart Foundation, an organization created by the parents of Ellie Ayers, of Williamsport, who died from cardiomyopathy at just eight months of age.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 15, 2018