Creating a community where children with chronic medical conditions  feel supported, safe to explore and thrive. 

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When a child is diagnosed with asthma, a heart condition, diabetes or epilepsy, it can strike fear in the heart of a parent and their world changes. Distinguished by something that makes them different, possibly stigmatizes them, and often limits them in some ways, the child’s self-image is fundamentally altered.

Keeping a child safe and managing their health condition is an incredibly difficult and demanding daily task. Parents, and sometimes siblings, fear for the child’s safety and feel a greater responsibility to protect and control their lives. Because of the isolation often created by the need for parental or medical supervision, children with a chronic medical condition have fewer opportunities for traditional social and recreational activities.

In 2009, Zebra Crossings set out to change the lives of these children by becoming the first organization in the region to provide year-round, medically supervised programs.

Zebra Crossings’ programs are intentionally designed to further develop each child’s skills, boost their independence, and reduce anxiety based on their condition. Programs are small and intimate in size with an average of 20-25 participants.

Supporting Parents & Siblings

Parents of children with chronic health conditions benefit from the respite opportunities that our programs provide. Due to our small numbers and our low camper to staff ratios, children with conditions that need close monitoring are safe and welcome. Parents can drop off their child and feel comfortable that their child’s needs are supported.

We welcome siblings to attend our programs, as it helps some children adapt and feel safe. In addition, we recognize that siblings often feel a high level of responsibility. They also can benefit from our programs by receiving support from other campers, so they can be worry free for a while.

Our Medical Team

Zebra Crossings’ programs are supported by trained medical professionals who donate their time generously. Volunteer nurses and EMT’s work under the standing orders and guidance of our Medical Director. All volunteers are fully screened and trained to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our participants.

Who Do We Serve?

Our programs serve children with a chronic medical condition, and their families. At Zebra Crossings we generally define a chronic health condition as

·      a biologically-based condition

·      requiring lifelong follow up care by a medical specialist

·      which brings significant changes in the life of the child and family

Medical conditions include (but are not limited to): asthma, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, epilepsy, congenital heart defects, hemophilia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, severe allergies and skin conditions.

“Zebra Crossings is a fun place where you can go and feel safe because they understand how you feel. You get to express yourself and experience all kinds of things and nothing holds you back.”

- Luke, age 10

“I am not sure there are many places where there are such kind, caring people.  It is also a place where others have chronic illnesses, some the same as yours.  It makes it a lot of fun to just talk and relate to someone that you can’t necessarily do at school.”

- Teen participant

“Before camp my son was embarrassed to go to the nurse. He wouldn’t take meds before gym, and then tried to hide his asthma symptoms and chest/lung pain.” Since camp, my son has been willing to take albuterol before gym class, has been more confident and willing to participate in groups with active outdoor activities.”

- Asthma Camp Parent

“Zebra Crossings has given my children a power they never would have learned to unleash. Here, they feel accepted, encouraged and understood. They are taught that what they believe to be their inadequacies, can really be the fire that burns inside of them and makes them a stronger, more courageous, and joyous person. Truly, Zebra Crossings has changed our lives for the better.”

- Thaia Katsos

“It is an amazing experience to not feel alone in the world. To meet and share some wonderful kid stories has given me and my family so much hope for the future”

- Family Camp Parent

The efforts of Zebra Crossings are supported by our generous sponsors, both individual and business. Want to join the ranks?

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