The mission of The ELM Project is to enhance the lives of youth living with the challenges of HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease by providing an enriching summer camp experience, year-round skill building and a supported transition to adulthood.
I am more confident and independent in the idea that now I am able to explore things on my own and take chances.
— Camp Participant
1.8 Million children worldwide have HIV. Most were born with it.
We hear them.
404,200 infants will be born with Sickle Cell every year.
We see them.
In 1995, Robert C. Macauley founded Camp AmeriKids as a residential summer camp program for children living with HIV/AIDS. The program was created in the hopes of reaching out to an underserved population close to home.
It continues to be our firm conviction that children, regardless of their economic, social or medical challenges should have the opportunity to experience the carefree joys of childhood. We have also realized the special connection that we develop with the children we serve and the continued impact we can have by being a guiding presence in their lives over time.
Through the addition of a teen leadership program and most recently, a mentor program for young adults, we have grown into an organization that supports youth from childhood through young adulthood (ages 8-21). We also serve even more children today after expanding to include participants affected by sickle cell disease.
To better represent the various opportunities available, we adopted the name The ELM Project in 2015. ELM stands for Encourage, Lead, Mentor and represents the tenets we strive for in our programming.