Checklist: Participating in Camps & Adventures
There are many organizations that provide camps and other adventures for individuals diagnosed with medical conditions and their caregivers. These programs provide valuable experiences and opportunities for building new support networks, skills, and friendships. Before deciding to participate in one of these activities, it is important to consider the practical issues discussed below.
Can the organization’s activities adapt to your needs?
Make sure any activity that you are considering participating in, is able to be adaptive to any health needs that you might have, to ensure that your experience will be as rewarding, and safe, as possible.
- Talk with your health care team about your participation in the activity to get their feedback and any suggestions about how you can participate.
- Determine what activities you can and cannot participate in, and what activities may need to be adapted for you to be able to participate.
- If the organization hosting the activity has not asked about any health needs that you might have, consider contacting a representative and asking about if and how they are able to adapt activities based on the health needs of participants.
Have you thought about disclosure?
Disclosing your medical information to another person is a personal decision. Disclosure decisions can sometimes be complicated. For information about your disclosure rights, read our Quick Guide to Disclosure, Privacy, & Medical Certification Forms.
- Keep in mind that posting on social media, on a blog, or even providing testimonials, about a medical community activity may disclose your diagnosis. If you prefer to keep your diagnosis private, navigate your online activities carefully. If you do want to share about your experiences online, you can take steps such as using privacy settings on social media or using a social media handle that isn’t connected to your name. These are not fail proof strategies, but but they may provide some protection.
Have you considered your FMLA (or other medical) leave?
If you choose to participate in an activity while on FMLA leave from a job, it is important to understand whether that would violate your employer’s rules about taking FMLA leave. For example, if you are not able to work, and are taking time off under the FMLA, an employer might claim you are able to work if you can participate in an activity. If a company discovers social media posts about your participation in an activity, the company may claim you no longer qualify for FMLA leave. For information about the FMLA and employment rights, visit our Employment page.
Have you considered your disability insurance benefits?
If you choose to participate in an activity while receiving disability insurance benefits, it is important to understand if that would violate rules related to your benefits. For example, a private disability insurance company may use your participation in an activity to argue you no longer have a medical condition requiring disability insurance benefits. To protect yourself from these risks, consider taking the following steps:
- Discuss your potential participation in the activity with your health care team, and ask if they will provide a letter (that you can keep on file) explaining why they believe you can participate in an activity, but are still unable to work.
- You can also ask your health care team to include information in your medical record stating why they believe you can participate in an activity, but are still unable to work.
- Know your rights. If your employer or insurance company has revoked your leave or benefits, you have options to appeal those decisions. For information, visit our Disability Insurance Topics Page.
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Last reviewed for updates: 01/2022
Disclaimer: This handout is intended to provide general information on the topics presented. It is provided with the understanding that Triage Cancer is not engaged in rendering any legal, medical, or professional services by its publication or distribution. Although this content was reviewed by a professional, it should not be used as a substitute for professional services. © Triage Cancer 2023