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Being a child means summer camp, new friends, and new adventures. For many children with renal disease, attending a summer camp was not an option. The emotional, physical, and financial burden of dialysis treatments extinguished their hopes for a childhood "camp" experience. Being a special needs child also meant there were limited camps across the Untied States that offered this experience.

In 1974, Camp Okawehna was established, located just 50 miles outside of Nashville Tennessee, for the purpose of providing an experience for renal disease or transplant children. Knowing that there was another camp for these children made the Pennsylvania area more determined to provide the same opportunities. Initially supported and managed by the National Kidney Foundation, the Western PA Kidney Kamp was taken over by DCI when funding was no longer available through the NKF. The Kamp is located on the 600 plus acres of the Ligonier Camp and Conference Center in historic Ligonier, PA.

During the week long camp experience, everything is provided from accommodations and food to non-stop fun-filled activities and on-site medical care. Every effort is made to accommodate individuals with special needs, including those who have hearing or vision impairments, those with rigid dietary requirements, or individuals in wheelchairs. LCCC has also constructed a wheelchair accessible room which was funded by DCI on the first floor of the lodge.

Kamp activities throughout the week include a ropes challenge course, climbing wall, swimming, daily craft projects, a "themed" dance party that is sponsored by the local ANNA Chapter featuring Juke Box Johnny as the DJ. Johnny has been a part of the kamp for 9 years and is a part of the family. Special events that have taken place in previous years include an on-site carnival, live animals including 'big cats' and snakes, magicians, and more. Wednesday always features a fun filled day at the local Idlewild Soak Zone and Amusement Park.

Campers are expected to participate in activities as much as physically possible. The activities are geared to be fun but totally wholesome and promote independence and growth on the part of the individual camper. This helps the camper develop a trusting relationship in a new environment, explore their full potential, and learn more about themselves.

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