Since 2004, NJCTS has welcomed families to enjoy some time away from it all at the NJCTS Family Retreat Weekend at YMCA Camp Bernie in beautiful Hunterdon County. The weekend allows children and their families to meet others with Tourette Syndrome (TS), learn more about their diagnosis, and engage with peer mentors in a fun, safe environment.
Kids enjoy canoeing, swimming, wall climbing, arts & crafts, participating in a talent show, rekindling old friendships, and cultivating new ones. Parents join in many activities with their children but also connect with other parents and share their stories. Powerful workshops provide a safe place for both youth and parents to ask questions about TS and learn from peer mentors.
The NJCTS Family Retreat Weekend is popularly known as “the best weekend of the year” to the many families who attend looking for camaraderie, a relaxing getaway from the stress of everyday life, and a chance to learn more about TS and self-advocacy.
The weekend also introduces families to the following programs and services made available through NJCTS’ partnerships and collaborations:
- TIC Genetics: The Tourette International Collaborative Genetics Study, led by Dr. Robert King of Yale University, meets with families interested in participating in the National Institute of Health NJCTS Genetics Sharing Program
- Tourette Syndrome Clinic: Representatives from the NJCTS Tourette Syndrome Clinic at Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology discuss the clinic’s many services.
For more information about Camp Bernie, visit www.campbernieymca.org
“The retreat weekend is a way to gain further knowledge and offer support to our son with TS. It is a way for us to gain support in our journey. The retreat is a nice way to connect with families in a relaxed atmosphere while allowing our children to be who they are—not worrying that they will be judged or critiqued.”
“The mentor panels are so supportive and educational. To have time to spend with other families, see familiar faces, and share stories is priceless!”
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