On Saturday, 116 volunteers from across the state will finish packing and head to Camp Aldrich in Barton County to spend a week helping kids with cancer enjoy a normal camp experience.
Volunteers arrive early for orientation and team building activities. The house parents and the activities, medical, kitchen and logistics teams will get ready for the incoming campers on Sunday and the first big meal for nearly 200 people.
Established in 1982, Camp Hope is a program of Camp Hope-Heartland Inc. (www.camphopeheartland.com), whose mission is to support families living with, through and beyond the cancer experience. Camp Hope provides campers ages 5 to 17, who have had or currently have cancer, a traditional camp experience. Campers enjoy swimming, arts and crafts, archery, campfires, a dance, a talent show, fishing, hiking, miniature golf and bowling. Camp Hope is accredited by the American Camp Association. A full medical staff on-site allows campers even on active treatment to attend.
These 116 volunteers — including physicians, oncology nurses, ER nurses, pediatric nurses, pharmacists, and a mental health specialist — assist 60-80 campers each summer.