Camp Holiday Trails
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Camp Holiday Trails is a caring community committed to empowering, encouraging and educating campers with chronic illnesses, their families and healthcare professionals.
We achieve this through programs and activities that foster self-esteem, promote independence, develop leadership skills and create empathy and tolerance.
Camp Holiday Trails is a center for experiential education and learning for those professionals committed to improving their knowledge and skills in serving children with special medical needs and chronic illnesses.
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Camp Holiday Trails grew out of two successful camps undertaken by members of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Dr. Robert Selden, Dr. Peter Houck and Dr. Elsa Paulsen believed that every child, regardless of diagnosis, could benefit from a positive camp experience. The first camp was started in 1965 for children with diabetes and the second, in 1970, for children with respiratory health problems. Each camp was held at rented or donated facilities. The pediatricians of those camps realized that there was a real value in starting a camp that accepted children with a variety of health problems and shifted the focus from the illness to the child. It was agreed that such an expanded program required a permanent campsite so on November 17, 1971 Camp Holiday Trails was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
A permanent site of 70.870 acres of woodland south of Charlottesville was purchased and initial building began in 1973. In 1974, Camp Holiday Trails was one of the first camps where children with diverse diagnoses came together. To this day, Camp Holiday Trails remains a caring community committed to empowering, encouraging and educating campers with chronic illnesses, their families and healthcare professionals. The programs and activities offered by Camp Holiday Trails are designed to:
- foster self-esteem
- promote independence
- develop leadership skills
- create empathy and tolerance
Camp Holiday Trails is a center for experiential education and learning for those professionals committed to improving their knowledge and skills in serving children with special medical needs and chronic illnesses, artfully folded into an active program that exposes kids to activities that any Camp would offer including archery, horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, wilderness education, arts and crafts, athletics and organized games. Participation in this program reminds our Campers that at the heart of it all, their arthritis, asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, kidney disease, obesity, organ transplant, seizure disorder or visual/hearing impairment does not solely define them.
Impacts from new Ragged Mountain Dam
As construction of a new earthen dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir gets underway, camp officials are expecting to experience disruptions. The camp received $35,300 in compensation from the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority but camp officials said they had been promised more. 
- Camp Holiday Trails
- 400 Holiday Trails Lane
- Charlottesville, VA 22903
- Camp Holiday Trails: Our Mission
- Camp Holiday Trails record from Albemarle's GIS-Web retrieved 23 Feb 2012
- Web. Camp feels shortchanged by dam deal, Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 26, 2012, retrieved February 28, 2012.