SEE IT: Camp Simcha’s Medical Program: “A Hospital Camouflaged as a Camp”


Each year, hundreds of children and teens with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses experience the joys of summer at Chai Lifeline’s flagship programs, Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special, where they have access to the highest quality of medical care—free of charge.

“At Camp Simcha, we are able to accommodate campers with all forms of medical challenges, from cancer and blood disorders with chemotherapy to chronic illness and disabilities with physical and respiratory therapy,” said Nachman Maimon, director of Camp Simcha. “Our advanced medical program rivals what you’d find in many pediatric hospitals and offers these children the opportunity to just be kids.”

“We believe every child deserves a wonderful childhood experience,” said Dr. Robert Van Amerongen, Medical Director of Camp Simcha Special. “And what’s more central to a child growing up than attending sleepaway camp?”

Located along the scenic Catskill mountains, the camp features a state-of-the-art medical facility featuring multiple private exam rooms; eight quarantine rooms; a “crash” room for emergency situations; a physical therapy center; six bathing pavilions for campers with disabilities; a fully staffed acute transport ambulance; and a medevac helicopter on-call 24/7. The dedicated medical team includes multiple physicians, nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, pharmacists and EMTs.

Looking to the future, Camp Simcha plans to expand its medical facility to meet the growing need for its vital services. To support Camp Simcha, please visit

Chai Lifeline offers more than two dozen year-round programs and services, including professional case management and counseling, meal delivery to hospitals and homes, transportation to medical appointments, emergency financial assistance, Project Chai crisis intervention, insurance advocacy, i-Shine afterschool programming for children living with illness or loss in their families, Camp Simcha, Camp Simcha Special, and Camp Simcha Without Borders summer programming.

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