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Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance

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Beat Retreat postcard 2020

“The Beat Retreat” Camp

What is the Beat Retreat?

The Beat Retreat is a fun-filled, four-day weekend for adults with congenital heart disease. You’ll have an opportunity to participate in a mix of traditional camp activities – all geared to your physical ability and comfort level. Equally important, you’ll have an opportunity to make new friends and learn from the experiences of other CHD patients. And, you’ll have an opportunity to chat with healthcare professionals in a relaxed and informal setting. In short, it’s a weekend of fun, friends, firsts, and great good.

When is the Beat Retreat?

This year’s retreat will be help September 17-20, 2020. If you can’t make it for the entire weekend, that’s okay – come for the part that you can. *2020 Update: Due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic and advice received from the medical community, camp with be online this year to ensure everyone's safety.  While still in the planning stages, our goal is to serve up a virtual camp experience that includes many of the same fun-filled activities, social gatherings and learning opportunities as our traditional camp. Campfire online?

Where is it held?

The retreat is held at Camp Ki-Wa-Y – conveniently located on beautiful Paradise Lake, just 15 minutes north of Kitchener-Waterloo. You can learn more about Camp Ki-Wa-Y at www.ymcacambridgekw.ca/en/camp-outdoor-centre/kiway/Index.asp

What happens at the retreat?

While at camp, you can look forward to a range of activities, such as campfires, swimming, canoeing, crafts, archery, initiative games, yoga, Kangaroo Kourt, and skit night. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend an education session and ask questions of cardiac healthcare professionals. All activities are geared to CHD patients.

Where do we stay during the retreat?

We offer a true “camp experience”. That means you’ll be stay in a comfortable, but rustic cabin. You’ll share a room with others and sleep on a bunk. Linen and pillows are not provided, so you’ll need to bring a sleeping bag and a pillow. Washrooms and showers are a just short walk from the cabins (about 10 metres).

How much does it cost?

We want the retreat to be financially accessible, so we keep your costs as low as possible. All you have to pay is $150. That covers your food, accommodations and all activities (except for an optional massage). Of course, if you can afford more than the $150 registration fee, we encourage you to make a donation to CCHA/The Beat Retreat to help us offset costs.

Is there a minimum age for attending?

Yes. You must be at least 18 years of age by the first day of the retreat.

How do I get to the Beat Retreat?

Unfortunately, we don’t provide transportation. But if you don’t have a car, we’ll do our best to help get you there. If you need a ride, let us know and we’ll try to match you up with someone from your area who can give you a lift. 

Who runs the Beat Retreat?

The Beat Retreat is a program of the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA) and has been around since 2009. The retreat is organized each year by a committed group of volunteers. The CCHA is a non-profit organization launched in 2004 to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of individuals with congenital heart disease.

How do I register?

*Due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic and advice received from the medical community, camp with be online this year to ensure everyone's safety. While still in the planning stages, our goal is to serve up a virtual camp experience that includes many of the same fun-filled activities, social gatherings and learning opportunities as our traditional camp. More to come in the upcoming weeks. Campfire online?

Where can I get more information?

You have three options:

Check out how congenital heart disease stacks up against better recognized diseases in Canada! So many affected and so little awareness and funding! Get involved with CCHA, donate, and spread the word about the growing population of of "survivors" so that we can get the care and support we need to live long, healthy lives!

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