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  • Author
    Jessica Wu
  • Co-author

    Jessica Wu, Dr. Marcia Hogeling

  • Title

    Impact of summer camps for children with chronic skin conditions

  • Abstract

    The first summer camp for children with chronic skin conditions began in 1993, and since then, numerous other dermatology camps have been established internationally. Camps may be skin disease specific, but most welcome children with any dermatologic condition. This review characterizes the existing literature on pediatric summer skin camps. A search of the Pubmed and PsycInfo databases yielded 11 articles that were included in this review. Most camps follow the structure of a traditional sleepaway camp, with a focus on outdoor activities. Skin camp attendance is associated with improvements in camper self-esteem, counselor body image, and medical staff empathy. All camps fulfill their unique missions while maintaining camper safety. Limitations of this study include a small body of available literature, of which most is descriptive or cross-sectional. Nevertheless, it is clear that pediatric skin camp attendance and volunteerism are associated with positive outcomes. Additional studies should focus on the effects of skin camp on parents, as well as the long-term impact of camp on the psychosocial functioning of children with dermatologic conditions. 

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