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Camp Bon Coeur, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camps, Children & Youth, Health, Heart & Circulatory System Diseases & Disorders, Pediatrics, Sports, Youth Development

Mission: Camp Bon Coeur''s mission is to provide a safe summer camp environment in which children with heart defects can grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially while learning lifelong coping skills.

Results: Since 1985, Camp Bon Coeur has changed the lives of thousands of children with congenital heart defects. We have provided them with a typical camp experience that includes art, archery, sports, canoeing, heart class and a great deal more.

Target demographics: Children and adults with congenital heart defects and their families.

Geographic areas served: Lafayette Louisiana for kids across the nation.

Programs:

A summer camping experience is something all children should enjoy. Summer camp is an opportunity for fun, friendships and personal growth. But what summer camp does a child with a congenital heart defect attend? Is there a place where they can enjoy a summer camp experience? Yes!, it is called Camp Bon Coeur or “Camp Good Heart”!!

In 1985, Camp Bon Coeur was created by Lafayette General Medical Center, one of the leading cardiovascular centers in the south, and Mended Hearts, Inc., a national support group for adults with heart defects, to give children with Congenital Heart Defects a traditional summer camp experience. These kids might not have had the opportunity other kids enjoy due to their health needs. Camp Bon Coeur offers a two-week residential summer program that gives these campers the opportunity to meet other kids from across the country that also bear the scars of growing up with a heart defect. Camp Bon Coeur offers a two-week program that is designed with the cardiac camper in mind. Our campers range in age from 7-16 years old. Session A is for campers ages 7-11 and Session B accommodates 12-16 year olds.

Camp Bon Coeur is accredited by the American Camping Association.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Camp Bon Coeur for roughly 3 years now. Volunteering for this organization has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. The kids have so much to contend with, and it is incredible to see them have a camp experience where they can just be kids. Watching them grow more confident each day and seeing the joy that radiates from each of them while at camp is an amazing experience. I wish I could say that I have made the bigger impact on them, but I know it's the other way around.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a CHD and my experience with CBC was nothing short of amazing. I can say with 100% that it has changed my life. It not only helped me meet other kids that go through the same thing, but it gave me confidence as a person. I will forever be greatful for that time and CBC

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This camp gives children with congenital heart defects a place to learn about life, meet life-long friends, learn how to maintain their health, and safely experience camp activities with others that really understand them. As a camp nurse, watching the campers gain knowledge and confidence is rewarding.

Former staff

Rating: 5

This camp changed my life...and I do not even have a heart condition! The beautiful staff and campers quickly became close friends last summer when I worked as a camp counselor. Listening to the campers describe their heart conditions first broke my heart but as they spoke I realized they were all so young yet so knowledgeable and positive. These children have a great life ahead of them and I am glad they have camp as an outlet to have stress free fun!!

Donor

Rating: 5

My son Cooper was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) and my family has first-hand experience and knowledge of how great this organization is. CBC has made a profound impact on the lives of so many children born with CHD. They provide an environment for these kids to not only experience life equal to their peers, but to excel in it. CBC, and its entire staff, is truly incredible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the mom of a child born with heart disease, it's always a concern that your child will be left out or excluded because they are different. Camp Bon Coeur is a place where our "heart kids" can feel like "normal kids." My daughter first attended camp when she was 7, and we are planning to return this summer for her second year. The staff is so caring and supportive, and they are all highly trained. Some of the camp nurses are heart patients themselves, and the camaraderie between the staff and campers is awesome. My daughter is looking forward to seeing her camp friends again, and I know that this is a place she will make lifelong friends and wonderful memories.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former camper and staff member who has been involved with Camp Bon Coeur since 2000, I can tell you the place is life changing. I started camp at the age of 13 and it was a real turning point for me. Camp taught me what I was capable of and to have a voice. That I was allowed to say yes I can. To push my boundaries in a safe and loving environment. I can without a doubt tell you that camp has helped shape me into the woman I am today. (I even met my husband at camp! He too has a heart defect even though he was never a camper himself.)

Client Served

Rating: 5

It's hard to go through life being different and having some limitations. As a boy, it's hard not to be able to play sports, especially in Texas. Camp Bon Coeur is a camp for kids with congenital heart defects and made a huge impact on my son's life once he began attending every summer. It was well worth the 6+ hour drive. He was surrounded by kids of all ages who had a heart defect just like him! He could see kids with greater limitations than he had as well as how they dealt with their issues. The camp is full of fun activities all monitored by health professionals, so parents could feel at ease that their kids are in the best possible care away from home. Many of our kids can't attend other summer camps because the level of activities exceeds what they're capable of handling. In addition to regular camp fun, they're also blessed with education opportunities to learn about their hearts and specific defects. My son loved dissecting the pig heart!

He returned home every summer with more confidence, more understanding of his defect, and a true sense of camaraderie with others like him. Camp Bon Coeur isn't just a summer camp. It's a place that makes our heart kids belong and feel special - but in a good way! The camp staff and volunteers are amazing. They put their heart and soul into making the experience a blessing to all campers. We personally will always feel connected to Camp Bon Coeur and the impact it has had on our family. My son has reached the age to where he can be a Counselor in Training (CIT), and he can't wait until this summer!

Countless non-profits exist, and I know they're all for a good cause. But, Camp Bon Coeur stands out! Their mission and their passion are like nothing I've seen in other organizations. They're a life changer for these kids. They truly make a difference. The uniqueness of having a camp just for kids with heart defects allows them to fit in, to gain an appreciation and a new perspective for life because for the length of the camp, they're surrounded by others just like them. As a parent, we will never know fully the hours, the devotion, and the work that goes on throughout the year to make Camp Bon Coeur happen, but I hope they know the impact that it has for our kids! We love Camp Bon Coeur!