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Coeur-à-Coeur Congenital Camp

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Our Mission

A first in Canada, in 2006 we held the first camp for congenital heart disease (CHD) patients. Our goal is to create a fulfilling summer camp experience for young people with congenital heart disease and their families. A few days by a lake in the mountains to connect, swap stories and just have fun. A time to imagine the promise of the future while making new friends with others who have grown up with congenital heart disease. To create lasting memories that can be shared as a family, because CHD is a family affair from birth.

Coeur-à-Coeur Congenital Camp

Coeur-à-Coeur Congenital Camp program for this particular outing, and is an endeavor of the cardiac program of the MAUDE Unit of the McGill University. This outing provides young people living with CHD and their families the opportunity to participate in exciting camp activities while meeting others with similar medical challenges. During the comprehensive and absorbing camp program, under the guidance of qualified counselors, many of whom are CHD adults with their own unique perspectives, teens will meet other teens in programs, at meals, in breakout sessions and discussion groups. Parents will meet other parents outside of the stressful atmosphere of the hospital. Built around small groups, the camp activities encourage participation and discourage passivity. The emphasis is on fun and the freedom to be a regular camper in a safe and sensible way.

Coeur-à-Coeur Congenital Camp

is on a green hill beside a clear lake, amid tall trees and the cool silence of the countryside in the beautiful Laurentian Mountains, about an hour north of Montreal. Our home for three days and two nights will be based in Camp B’nai Brith’s Retreat Centre with its breathtaking views, comfortable facilities and delicious cuisine as well as a fully equipped infirmary to deal with any issues that may arise.

Camp Program includes

Swimming, surf bikes, tennis, baseball, volleyball, basketball, soccer, campfires, ropes and initiatives, canoeing kayaking, hiking, arts and crafts and many more. Entertaining, enjoyable with lots of variety, the camp program is designed to suit individual needs and limitations, all the while making sure that no one is left out and there’s something for everyone.

Did You Know

That Congenital Heart Defects affects one out of every one hundred and seventy five people? The prevalence of CHD has risen dramatically in the last twenty years as more children are surviving to adulthood. And yet, although there are specialty camp experiences for kids with special needs or those affected by serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer, coeur-à-coeur congenital camp is the first camp to cater specifically to young people with CHD and their families.

More CHD children are making the transition to adulthood and living longer healthier lives. This summer, coeur-à-coeur congenital camp can be a significant and memorable part of that life journey.

Facts from the American Heart Association


How serious is the problem?

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect and are the number one cause of death from birth defects during the first year of life. Nearly twice as many children die from congenital heart disease in the United States each year as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined.

Are things improving?

Definitely. Overall mortality has significantly declined over the past few decades. For example, in the 1960s and 1970s the risk of dying following congenital heart surgery was about 30% and today it is around 5%.