Like many moms, Elizabeth Cho cried in the car on the way home from dropping off her daughter, Mischa, at camp for the first time. Much to her surprise, there were no tears from Mischa, just smiles and a wave goodbye to her parents.
“Mischa had never slept away from home before, so we worried she wouldn’t want us to leave,” Elizabeth remembers. “But she felt at home right away. Children’s National Brainy Camps are extremely welcoming for the kids and for the parents. It’s more than a camp. It’s a community that has become a part of our family.”
That sense of community inspired James and Elizabeth Cho to make the largest corporate gift ever to the camps. They generously donated $100,000 through their business, Tripoint Solutions, a Government IT Consulting company based in Arlington, Va.
“Tripoint has always supported our communities and charitable organizations.James and I are proud to support Brainy Camps’ mission and their commitment to providing a fun experience for children at their camps,” said Paul McGoldrick, Managing Director at Tripoint Solutions.
“We are so grateful for the support of the Cho family through Tripoint Solutions,” says Camps Founder and Director Sandy Cushner-Weinstein. “Their gift shows how important and meaningful the camp experience is for kids and their families. This type of generosity will help ensure children can continue to count on us for decades to come.”
Children’s National Brainy Camps began as Camp Great Rock for children with epilepsy in 1994. By 2007, camps for children with neurofibromatosis, autism spectrum disorder and sickle cell also were available. Two years later, Children’s National established a consortium of camps, adding Camp Heartbeat (heart conditions) and Take Charge (diabetes).
For 27 years, kids with chronic health conditions have come together for safe, fun-filled activities in a nurturing, cohesive community. The camps also provide peace of mind and respite for parents caring 24/7 for children with medical conditions that are often complex. Today, the residential and virtual camps serve children with a dozen different conditions.
Mischa was diagnosed with a heart condition at a young age. Her medical team at Children’s National referred her to Camp Heartbeat, where many participate each summer. They join activities with campers and provide round-the-clock medical supervision.
“We absolutely love the fact that there are Children’s National medical staff who take the time to go to camp,” says James Cho. “Your kid couldn’t be in a safer place in the entire universe.”
Elizabeth and James watch Mischa continue to grow through her time at camp, expanding her social connections and supporting other children in the camp community. “Camp has enabled Mischa to become resilient and empowered about her condition,” Elizabeth says. “There are no words to say how grateful we are.”
James credits his daughter for their decision to become camp sponsors. Mischa raised money years ago to help other kids attend. As a family, they wanted to continue that tradition and support Camp Heartbeat and all the camps in a way that would make a lasting difference.
“Their partnership could not have come at a better time,” says Sandy. “James, Elizabeth and Tripoint Solutions helped us navigate a challenging year to continue our mission of helping children with chronic health conditions reach their full potential.”
In 2021, the residential camps required additional staff, masks and supplies to safely meet COVID-19 health protocols. This raised the cost of camp operations. Residential campers remained in “pods” with their own set of equipment and supplies to reduce the risk to vulnerable children. Virtual campers received activity kits and other essential items to help replicate the in-person camp experience.
To support or learn more about Children’s National Brainy Camps, please contact Jackie Sims at [email protected].