Camp Joy

 A note from our camp committee:

We have made the difficult decision to cancel Camp Joyful Hearts and Heart Institute Family Camp in 2020.  This decision was made after careful consideration, exploring all the feasibility of all available solutions and options, and based on guidance provided by Cincinnati Children's, as well as current federal and local policies.

Camp Joyful Hearts and Heart Institute Family Camp are two of our most important and enjoyable events of the year and we are devastate to have to cancel them.  However, the safety of our campers and families is our highest priority and we feel that this is the  best decision for everyone involved.  

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time and we look forward to hosting these events in 2021.  For questions, email  

Stay well,

The Heart Institute Camps Team

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About Camp Joyful Hearts

Growing up with heart disease can be a significant physical and emotional challenge. Through Camp Joyful Hearts, the Heart Institute strives to help kids with heart disease overcome these challenges with a support network of kids in similar circumstances.

Camp Joyful Hearts is a residential summer camp for kids and teens with heart disease. Camp Joyful Hearts offers many exciting camp activities such as swimming, high ropes, campfires, stargazing in our new observatory and much more! All activities are adapted to each child’s abilities. A pediatric cardiologist and cardiac nurses are onsite 24 hours a day.

Teen Programs

Camp Joyful Hearts will again be offering two teen programs! We want our campers’ experience to expand as they grow. Every summer should present new activities, challenges and goals. Teens 15 years or older will need to select a program to enroll when registering.

Braveheart Program

The Braveheart program combines the tradition and fun of Camp Joyful Hearts with new challenges and purposeful leadership and personal development opportunities. The goal of this program is to allow teen campers to challenge themselves and set personal goals and limits.

Braveheart programming will offer teens:

  • New high and low ropes course options
  • Updated camp activities aimed at teen engagement and relationship and team building

Heart to Heart Leadership Program

The Heart to Heart Leadership program* combines aspects of our previous Leader-in-Training (LIT) program with traditional camp activities, such as ropes course, to create an opportunity for teen campers to interact with the youngest campers in a leadership role.

Teens in the Heart to Heart Leadership program will:

  • Sleep in cabins with the youngest campers and assist Camp Joy counselors with leadership responsibilities throughout the week at camp
  • Help support campers between the ages of 8-12 years old
  • Participate in updated camp mentoring and leadership skills training, while also having the opportunity to take part in traditional Camp Joyful Hearts activities

* Space is limited for the Heart to Heart Leadership program: 16 teens will be accepted into this program. When registering, teen campers choosing this option will be required to submit a short paragraph (3-5 sentences) explaining:

  1. Why they want to be in the Heart to Heart Leadership program
  2. How they will best support counselors and young campers

Camp Joyful Hearts leadership will review all submissions and inform teen campers of their acceptance to this program. Once the Heart to Heart Leadership program is full, teen campers will be assigned to the Braveheart program.