Families and Campers

Barretstown offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness – supported behind the scenes by 24 hour on site medical and nursing care.

What happens at Barretstown?

At Barretstown we will look after the physical and emotional well-being of an ill child by creating a carefree and safe, medically supported environment where they can make new friends, share experiences – and continue their treatment if they need to.

Our camps and programmes have a profound effect and lasting impact on our campers and their families. After participating, children go home with increased confidence, self-esteem and more importantly the reassurance that happiness is not just for healthy children.

“While Barretstown will not discriminate against campers, families and staff based on gender, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background, there may be individual cases whereby our site, infrastructure and staff resources cannot accommodate certain requests. Examples may include, but are not limited to High Acuity Medical Needs, Gender Identity, 1 on 1 Behaviour Support and Mental Health”.

To see the policy in full click here

What does Barretstown offer?

Our range of camps are offered to all family members living with a serious illness to include Family Camps and Brothers and Sisters Camp. Our summer camps are tailormade to different age groups including Summer Children’s Camp (7-15) and Summer Teen Camp (13-17). Our Bereavement Camp is programmed over three weekends in a twelve month period.

Which illness groups do we serve?

1. Oncology
2. Haematology
3. Nephrology
4. Rheumatology
5. Pulmonary
6. Genetic
7. Gastroenterology
8. Cardiology
9. Dermatology
10. Immunology
11. Neurology
12. Metabolic
13. Endocrinology (e.g. Type 1 diabetes) *

* Please note we are only accepting applications from children with Type 1 diabetes to Family Camps.


Barretstown camp serves children with serious medical conditions. The camp setting and the close living quarters can be conducive to the spread of disease. Some campers may not be able to be fully immunised because of their underlying disease process and these children will not be excluded from the camp programme. However, if a parent/guardian decided not to vaccinate their child due to their beliefs (for their own reasons) these children will not be permitted to attend camp.

What camps do we offer?

Here are the range of camps we offer at Barretstown. ...

The family weekend camps mainly take place throughout the year. Family camps mean the whole family can come together to Barretstown to enjoy our activities and programmes. Families stay together in one of our cosy cottages, you may be sharing with another family but you will have your own rooms and bathroom.

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Our summer camps take place from June to August for children aged 7 - 15. Parents do not attend summer camps, children come to camp on their own and stay in our cosy cottages with other children their own age.

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At our Brothers & Sisters camp, children between the ages of 7 and 17 have the opportunity to attend Barretstown together for a 4 day camp, without their parents. Currently, this camp is only available to Irish and UK children. This camp runs in the spring time, usually over the Easter break. Please note that the patient child must attend.

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Sibling camp takes place mid-summer for 7 days, and is for children who have a sibling (aged infant to 17) who are currently being treated for, or recovering from, a serious illness. Parents do not attend this camp. Please note patient child does not attend.

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Our Teen camps are specially designed camps for campers aged 13-17 living with a serious illness. There are two Teen camps each summer, one in early June and one in mid-July.

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The bereavement weekends at Barretstown offer the whole family a supportive environment within which they can spend quality time together, find support, share their experience of loss and find ways to look to the journey ahead.

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Specially designed for young adults 18 - 24 who have/had cancer, this programme is run in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society.

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Our Camper Leadership Programme (CLP) is designed for previous Barretstown campers, teaching them life skills that can be used outside of camp and in future life, helping to rebuild confidence and encourage peer support.

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All you need to know

Download our everything you need to know guide to guide you on your journey with Barretstown ...

Barretstown has a fully equipped medical facility on site called the Med Shed. It is housed in a beautifully restored stone cottage, overlooking the tranquil 'secret garden'.

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Barretstown serves children from Ireland, the UK and throughout Europe. Find out more about our International campers and how to apply to come to Barretstown Here

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Barretstown has no boundaries!

You can't come to camp? That's no problem, Barretstown will come to you! ...

Outreach Programmes

By offering unique, creative and developmentally appropriate activities and interactions, we help to restore joy and laughter to children in hospitals and schools.

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Got a question?

Let us know if you have any queries about camp, we are always happy to help. ...

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