Who We Are
Horizon Day Camp-Metro DC brings the simple pleasures of childhood back to children struggling with cancer, changing months of loneliness and isolation into summers filled with sunshine, laughter and happiness. And because Horizon is a day camp, it does all this while allowing the children to continue their medical treatment and enjoy the comfort and safety of their own homes at night.
Horizon Day Camp-Metro DC is a proud member of the Sunrise Association, whose mission is to bring back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings worldwide. Sunrise accomplishes this through the creation and oversight of welcoming, inclusive summer day camps, year-round programs and in-hospital recreational activities, all offered free of charge.
Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Horizon Day Camps and Year-Round Programs are always provided free of charge to the families and exist ONLY through the generosity of others.
Private donations/grants by foundations, businesses and very special individuals, as well as special events including Horizon/SunriseWALKS-Metro-DC, will underwrite the costs of running the camp which is the first of its kind here in the DC area.
Here’s how you can show your support:
1. Register yourself or a team for the 2024 WALK on Sunday, April 14, 2024.
2. Click here to make a donation that helps cover the cost of running the camp ($6,000 is the cost per child for camp and year-round programming)
Questions? Contact our Senior Director of Development, Jessica.Adams@theJ.org (703.537.3064) or visit the website.
What We Do For Kids with Cancer
Horizon Day Camp-Metro DC is full-summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings, ages 3 1/2 – 16, who are in active or follow-up treatment for cancer. Unlike most oncology sleep-away camps that are offered for 1-2 weeks each summer, Horizon Day Camp-Metro DC allows children to attend camp as often as they can.
Contact Ilana, our Assistant Director/Family Support Specialist, for more information at horizondaycamp@theJ.org
2024 Camp Dates: June 24-August 2
See the Horizon Magic for Yourself...
Give Childhood Back to Children with Cancer.
“The best thing about camp this summer was the abundance of joy and anticipation that all of my children experienced every camp day!"
Questions and Answers
Our Summer Camp Season is six weeks. Families can send their campers to camp for as little as a day or as much as the entire six week summer. You sign up for the time that best suits your family’s needs.
As a full-summer day camp, we are open Monday through Friday, from approximately 9:30am–3:45pm (excluding transportation times). Special accommodations can easily be made depending on when a child is able to attend. At Horizon, we recognize that children may not be able to attend camp every day, and so our program is designed to assure that no one “misses out” because of an absence. To accommodate working parents, extended hours are available from around 7:30am to as late as 6:30pm.
Registration for the 2024 camp season has not begun yet.
If you have question or are looking to register your child, please contact us at horizondaycamp@theJ.org for questions, help or additional information.
Our kids love camp so much that we just had to extend the fun beyond the summer. During the school year, our camp hosts Horizon Fun-days — special activity days for our campers — along with many of the same staff who helped to make their summers so wonderful. Our year-round program makes it possible for our campers to see their friends throughout the year while enjoying summer fun all year long. These camp-like activity days include sports, crafts, as well as special shows & programs. Some of the Fun-days are family events, where parents and children enjoy the fun-filled festivities together. Free transportation is available if needed. As with all our programs, Fun-days are offered to our families at no charge.
Whenever we become aware that one of our campers is hospitalized, either camp counselors, staff or volunteers will visit with a few special surprises and a cheery smile. They will sit at bedside and play with the child, share stories of camp days, and even give mom or dad a drop of respite so she or he can go home for a few hours, change clothes and maybe have a hot meal. They continuity from camp to bedside helps our campers feel connected to their counselors, friends and fun, lessening the sense of isolation and fear that a hospital admission can bring with it. Smiles from Horizon is just that — a burst of cheerfulness during the darkest times, bringing sights of relief to parents and sounds of laughter from their children.
Horizon Day Camp is staffed by counselors, specialists, assistants and volunteers specially trained prior to the camp’s opening. Our camp’s on-site Directors have extensive experience with children and camping, and our staff-to-camper ratio often exceeds 1:4, assuring that every need of our campers is accommodated. Special arrangements can be made for children requiring more extensive supervision.
When a child has cancer, it affects the entire family. Siblings, too, may face tremendous challenges socially and recreationally as the family’s focus understandably turns to their brother’s or sister’s medical needs. But at Horizon, siblings can play and interact as other brothers and sisters do; they are free to be with friends in a very normal, fun way while escaping the constant worry often found in a home with a chronically ill child.
At Horizon, siblings learn to better understand and deal with their brother’s or sister’s illness and their own feelings. Siblings are welcome to attend whether or not the child with cancer is able to be a camper.
Horizon Day Camp has a private, air-conditioned Wellness Center and is supported by on-site pediatric oncology nurses and a medical director on call. Most medications can be easily administered, and ample indoor areas are provided for children to just “cool down.” In the unlikely event of an emergency during the camp day, transportation by ambulance is provided.
Horizon Day Camp is within driving distance of its local communities. We encourage parents to drive their children to and from camp in order to limit their time on buses and keep them in the most comfortable environment. If driving is not an option, free bus transportation is available from select locations. In unique circumstances, transportation arrangements can be worked out to accommodate the special needs of a family.
Ever see a child not want to leave a hospital because they’re having so much fun? At Horizon on Wheels, it happens every day! Horizon on Wheels provides a day filled with Horizon fun to children awaiting treatment in pediatric oncology units of participating hospitals. Volunteers wheel a rainbow trunk bursting with toys, games and activities right into the hospitals and change what could have been a difficult day into a day of camp fun!
Our signature Wheels program currently brings fun to thousands of children in over 30 hospitals around the world.
Contact Ilana Adler, Assistant Director/Family Support Specialist, at horizondaycamp@theJ.org