How It Works

There is a specific process by which a child applies, is qualified, and granted a dream. If the initial contact comes from someone other than the family, we always ask that the family be notified to complete the application on their own behalf.

First Step: Filling Out an Application

The family of the potential dream child will fill out an application and return it to Catch-A-Dream. On this application, the dream child will designate his/her top three dream hunting or fishing adventures.  We ask that the “requests” be genuine desires of the child (as opposed to parent dreams) and that these be reasonable in expectation and age-appropriate.

Second Step: Determining Eligibility

After the application has been received, a medical certification form is sent to the child’s attending physician. The child’s attending physician makes the final determination of whether the child meets the medical criteria for eligibility and whether the child is physically and emotionally able to participate in the designated activity.

Third Step: Finalizing the Application

The family completes additional forms, including a waiver of liability, eligibility certification, etc.

Fourth Step: Application Review

Once all eligibility requirements are met and all required forms have been submitted by the family, the application is reviewed by the Board of Directors and either approved or not approved based upon policy and eligibility criteria.

Fifth Step: Identifying an Outfitter and Volunteer Host

After confirmation of the child’s eligibility, Catch-A-Dream notifies the family. Then, Catch-A-Dream personnel identify the Outfitting Partner that can best accommodate the child and family, and make the dream a reality. A Volunteer Host is then selected from our corps of trained and certified volunteers. The inclusion of a Host on every trip is one of the unique aspects of a Catch-A-Dream experience. The Host accompanies the family, covers all expenses, and ensures that plans designed by our staff are implemented. The Host facilitates every aspect of the trip, freeing parents and family to enjoy and savor the entire experience without the pressures of managing logistics and details.

Sixth Step: Fulfilling the Dream

Once a venue and dream trip are identified, the opportunity is presented to the family and plans are finalized. Our staff, working in conjunction with outfitters, guides and charter services, handles all aspects of trip planning. Every effort is made to include the immediate family living in the same household. The dream experience often touches dozens, and sometimes hundreds of people who either help coordinate or are directly involved in the dream.