Chicago, Illinois 60640
Tel:  (773) 465-7536
The Tourette Syndrome Camp Organization is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

     
Contact Us
 
Email: info@tourettecamp.com

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Welcome!


The Organization

The Tourette Syndrome Camp Organization (TSCO) is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization dedicated to promoting camping opportunities for children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and its associated disorders Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD).

The Program

The Tourette Syndrome Camp USA, founded in 1994, is a residential camping program designed for girls and boys ages 8 - 16+ whose primary diagnosis is TS, and to a lesser degree, OCD and ADD/ADHD. The goal of the camp is to allow children with TS an opportunity to meet other children, share similar experiences and coping mechanisms in a fun, safe and positive environment.

The TS camp is run concurrently with a traditional camp week. While there are separate cabins for the TS campers, all programming is done with the rest of the camp. However, we do have our own group time with the TS campers so they have an opportunity to share their experiences with each other. In addition, Camp Duncan is home to many medical camps such as ours which provide a safe, positive and understanding environment.

There is a nurse to handle medication and medical issues for the TS campers.

This year for our campers who are 16, we are adding a Counsellor in Training Program CIT. These campers wilbe given leadership opportunities that will help with a transition to possible future positions on our staff.

This is not a therapeutic program and the camp has some limitations in accepting children whose needs are beyond the scope of its design.

Campers must be able to handle routine daily living skills (i.e. dressing, self hygiene) and have the ability to function in a group setting. While the program is modified to meet the needs of most children whose primary diagnosis is TS, experience has demonstrated that not every child with TS is capable of participating in the camp program.

The Staff

In addition to providing in-service training for the Camp Duncan staff, TSCO augments the Tourette camps with special TS volunteer counselors who either have TS/OCD/ADD or have experience in dealting with the disorders. Our staff includes medical and psychiatric professionals that have volunteered as well as high school and college students along with young adults who hace a desire to work with children and are positive role models.

We are always looking for candidates to be counselors.
If you are interested, please apply for a staff position.

Staff Bios

Camp Director

Monica Newman has been on camp staff for 11 years. When she was 16 years old, she began her camp “career” as a junior counselor. Monica decided to become involved when her younger brother Sean (who is now also on staff) started attending camp. Monica became the Camp Director in the summer of 2011 after serving two years as Assistant Director. She is a Special Education teacher in a suburb of Chicago where she has given multiple in-service presentations about Tourette’s syndrome and has become her school districts resource person for Tourette’s syndrome. Monica graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and is certified as a Learning Behavior Specialist 1. She is currently working towards a Master’s Degree at Concordia University Chicago. She will hold a graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction (M.S. Ed) with an endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL) in December 2013. Monica credits her brother as well as TS camp for her decision to pursue a degree and a career as a Special Education teacher. Watching her brother struggle through school pushed her to become an advocate for children with special needs. She looks forward to camp every summer and has joked that she is now a “lifer” with TS camp!

Assistant Director

Marleen Martinez has been Assistant Camp Director for two years. She joined the camp staff four years ago as a young adult with TS. After reading a magazine article by TS advocate Neve Campbell, she self diagnosed herself at age 17. She has also been featured as part of the Family Portraits of Adults with TS in the Tourette Syndrome Association Newsletter. Marleen has a degree in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from the University of Washington. She currently works for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company on the Orion spacecraft for NASA. During the Fall of 2011, Marleen experienced one of her greatest accomplishments in life, watching the two GRAIL spacecraft she had been building and testing for 2 years launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida to begin their mission around moon. She invited numerous kids with TS from Florida to be her personal guests at the launch.

Director of Camper Success

Sarah Matchen has been on camp staff since 2001, starting as a counselor and moving into her current position after earning her Masters in Social Work. Sarah has her LCSW and the 51 weeks of the year she is not at camp she works as a crisis therapist with children, adolescents and families while dreaming of being back at camp!

The Facility

The Tourette Syndrome Camp USA is held at YMCA Camp Duncan which is located 30 miles north of Chicago. Camp is home to other special needs such as burn and diabetic Camp. The facility features an Olympic size indoor swimming pool and a semi-private lake. Their caring staff assures a positive experience in a caring environment.

Illinois Resource Network for Tourette Syndrome and Related Disorders(IRN-TS)

The Tourette Syndrome Camping Organization (TSCO) is excited to announce a Strategic Alliance with Illinois Resource Network for Tourette Syndrome and Related Disorders(IRN-TS).

During these difficult economic times, a number of nonprofits have folded or merged. IRN-TS will be coming under TSCO Structure. This is an Alliance where we will combine our knowledge and expertise to allow IIllinois Resource Network for Tourette Syndrome and Related Disorders to establish itself as a non-profit. This Alliance will enable TSCO to further expand our camping opportunities for children through IRN-TS contacts and work.

TSCO's core mission of providing camping and recreational programming for children and families will continue while IRN-TS will offer informational support as well social and educational opportunities for children and families.

Click on the following link: http://www.irn-ts.org/

Fall/Winter 2014/2015 Schedule

Camp Family Bowling
Saturday March 7, 2014 from 1:00PM to 3:00PM
Bowling at Brunswick Zone Roselle, 1100 West Lake Street, Roselle, IL 60172.
We are asking for a minimum Donation of $7 per person up to the full cost of $10 per person.

Susan Conners Speaking Tour in conjunction with a family event at YMCA at Pabst Farms
Sunday, April 19, 2015, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM
YMCA at Pabst Farms, 1750 E. Valley Road, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066

Susan Conners, M.Ed., was a middle school teacher for 33 years and helped found the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater New York State in 1984. She has been president of the organization ever since. A Snyder resident, she served on the National Tourette Syndrome Association's board of directors for 12 years and was also founder and chairperson of its educational committee. Conners recently had her first book published ("The Tourette Syndrome and OCD Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Educators"). She has provided educational in-services throughout the nation and also consulted with and made appearances on numerous television programs, including ABC's "20/20," the Emmy award-winning HBO documentary "I Have Tourette's But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me," and a BBC Discovery Channel special on Tourette syndrome, to name a few.

Susan will address the parents on education and other issues while our children will get a taste of camp as they have a fun-filled day of swimming, rock climbing and other gym activities with some of our camp staff. Cost will be $10 per child and $5 for lunch if you are attending for Susan Conner's event

Tourette Syndrome Camp USA
Sunday, June 28, 2015 till Saturday July 4, 2015
YMCA Camp Duncan, Ingleside, IL
Cost will be $605 per child ($600 if paid by check) Financial Aid will be available. Registration will begin in January.

More Information

If you would like more information or desire to be put on our mailing list, please e-mail info@tourettecamp.com or call us at (773) 465-7536.