Current Environment:

This retreat is a unique opportunity for Boston Children’s Hospital patients ages 6-17 with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. Many also have congenital heart disease. The retreat gives these kids the chance to experience a weekend of activities and outdoor adventures that their medical needs may not allow them to have elsewhere. 

Keeping the Beat Retreat is held one weekend in September at Camp Burgess & Hayward in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Thanks to our generous donors, there is no charge for attending this wonderful retreat.

Activities include arts and crafts, rock-wall climbing, pick-up ball games, kayaking, swimming and even zip-lining. Each family can choose which activities are appropriate for their child. Doctors and nurses from the electrophysiology team at Boston Children’s Hospital are present the whole weekend to give medications and provide medical supervision.

We strive to provide the highest quality experience for children with pacemakers and defibrillators to connect with one another and try fun new activities while feeling safe in the care of their medical team. We also provide transportation from the hospital to Camp Burgess and back. Those new to the retreat or younger children may also choose to come for one or both days without committing to sleeping over.

Our philosophy is to provide children with a wide array of activities and experiences that supports them in choosing their own level of challenge in a safe community environment. We strive to foster growth in each child's self-confidence, sense of responsibility, understanding of others, and decision-making skills, while helping them enjoy the retreat's fun and excitement. 

The retreat is a magical place where children and teens explore the outdoors, try unique and challenging activities, make new friends and learn about themselves. For more than a decade now, these gatherings have been a huge success. We find that most children look forward to returning to the retreat each year. For many children, this retreat is one of the most memorable experiences of their lives.

Keeping the Beat Retreat applications are currently open to past and present cardiology patients ages 6-17 at Boston Children’s. If your child is interested in attending, please email

This program is funded entirely by generous donors. If you’d like to help us raise money Keeping the Beat, please visit our fundraising page: