Each year, 1 out of 125 children are born with congenital heart disease in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

And just like other kids, they're going to need a little getaway, a place to grow and learn and make new friends. We've created a place where their scars won't matter. A place with big trees, big views and lots of heart.

Board Past-President Dr. Mary Rice has been dreaming and working for years to make Merry Heart Children's Camp a reality. There has never been an overnight camp for children with heart conditions in Oregon. She wants to change that.

Youth with heart conditions often have physical limitations. They might also be limited by their concerns about their heart, physical activities, medical safety and their scars.  

This year, with a crew of caring volunteers, Mary hopes for heart patients to have the ultimate summer experience in a safe environment.  

With a pediatric cardiologist and two cardiac nurses on duty at all times, parents can rest assured that their youth is in a safe, nurturing place.

Early in my career, I realized there was not a heart camp in Oregon. There never has been. At Merry Heart Children’s Camp, kids will get to know each other, talk about their experiences and build confidence.
— Mary Rice, M.D. Director & President
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The mission of Merry Heart Children's Camp is to provide a safe, nurturing and fun outdoor experience for youth with heart conditions where they can meet new friends and develop courage and independence without fear of being judged by others.  

Our objectives

We strive to:

  • To provide a summer camp experience where youth with heart conditions are encouraged to make new friends, share experiences and participate in activities and sports to the best of their abilities.

  • To provide a safe and medically-supervised summer camp program for youth with heart conditions from Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

  • To recruit volunteers for board, standing committees, counseling, and support staff.

  • To seek foundation support, government grants, private and corporate donations to help offset summer camp fees for all campers.

  • To generate revenue from retail sales and special events.

  • To establish an endowment fund to sustain the camp.