Camp Inspire

July 16 – 21, 2017


Camp Inspire is one of the few camps in the United States that is specifically designed for children and teens who are ventilator dependent.  The Woodlands plans all year long in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to provide a six day, five night experience that will create memories to last a life time.  Camp Inspire is a place where youth with tracheostomies, ventilators, and BiPAP machines, who have complex medical conditions can truly be themselves.  In addition to having a memorable week-long adventure filled with expression and joy, this experience will provide the campers the chance to interact with other children who have had similar experiences.  It is the goal of The Woodlands to provide a special, fulfilling experience for each Inspire camper.

“If our participants are happiest when observing activities, or walking around camp, we make it happen.  If they love all the activities, we encourage them to participate to the highest degree.  If they are unable to sit in a wheelchair for an extended period of time, we improvise.  Some campers hang out on blankets or beanbags; others may bring their own positioning chairs.  No matter how they are positioned, they are always in the middle of the action.  Our four-to-one staffing setup guarantees it.”    – Jesse Solomon, Woodlands Director of Programs

Camp Inspire is an extremely valuable resource for families of children and teens with ventilator dependency by providing breaks for parents and caregivers, while at the same time offering participants new and exciting experiences.

Video by Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.


The Camp Inspire staff ratio is four professionals to one camper.  Each camper is assigned a Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC respiratory therapist, a Children’s Hospital registered nurse, a student of nursing or respiratory therapy and a Woodlands counselor.  Sleeping units are air-conditioned and specially equipped with accessible bathrooms and showers.  Each unit is staffed by medical professionals at night with The Woodlands medical director on site 24 hours a day. Every measure is taken to ensure the cleanest and safest care for Inspire campers.

Camp Inspire adapted activities include:

Music circles/drum circles
Camp fires
A carnival
Nature walks/strolls
Swimming/water exploration in a controlled environment
Zip lining
Arts & crafts
Special performances
Talents shows
Therapy dog demonstrations
Social/conversation games