The Camps’ History

1994

The Epilepsy Foundation of the National Capital Area and the Department of Neurology at Children’s National Medical Center develop Camp Great Rock, a camp especially designed for children and teens with epilepsy. The camp is held at a 4-H camp in Upper Marlboro, MD. Camp population: 23 campers

1995

Camp Great Rock moves its campsite to 4-H Center in Front Royal, Virginia.

1997

Camp Great Rock becomes a program within the department of Neurology of Children’s National Medical Center. Camp population grows to 50 teenagers and adults.

1999

Camp Great Rock moves its campsite to Carol-Jean Foundation in Olney, Maryland. Camp Great Rock celebrates its 5th anniversary. Camp population grows to 65 campers, 30 volunteers.

2004

Camp New Friends, a camp for children with neurofibromatosis is developed and attracts children from nine states. Camp population: 25

2005

Camp Connect for children and teens with Tourette syndrome is formed. Children come from four states. Camp population: 25

2005

Super Campers Always, a camp for children and teens with sickle cell anemia, is established. Camp population: 24 campers and teens

2006

Children’s National Medical Center Camps (CNMCC) move to Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown, Maryland. Camp population: 75 campers and teens

2007

The camps continue to grow. Camp Great Rock population: 87 campers, teens, and Counselors-In-Training (CITs); Camp New Friends population: 60 campers and teens; Camp Connect population: 45 campers and teens; 50 volunteers are involved

2008

The camps are renamed “Brainy Camps” and a new camp is developed for children with the high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. The Brainy Camps population remains steady due to the lack of facility availability, accessibility and space. Brainy Camps develops a goal to either build or find a permanent campsite that will serve the needs of its campers.

2009

Brainy Camps establishes a partnership with Massanetta Springs Conference and Camp Center and moves its campsite to Massanetta Springs in Harrisonburg, Virginia.Brainy Camps is established as an independent non-profit organization and becomes a subsidiary of Children’s National Medical Center.

2010

Brainy Camps expands to serve children with diabetes and those with pacemakers and ICDs. Brainy Camps hires its first full time employee.

2011

Brainy Camps expands again to include camps for children with congenital heart disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and those at risk for childhood obesity.  Enrollment reaches more than 260 campers and 120 staff, with campers coming from 26 states, China and Costa Rica.

2012

Brainy Camps census reaches 300 campers and 150 volunteers.  Once again, it is time to find a new campsite that will accomodate Brainy Camps expansion and needs.

2013

Brainy Camps moves to a new campsite in High View, WV.  New family camps are added for childhood obesity and diabetes.  An adult camp is started for those with NF who are 21 years and older.