By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Camp Hope underway in Barton County
camp hope volunteers 6-16-24
Camp Hope volunteers arrived at Camp Aldrich this past weekend ahead of campers. They attended orientation and a scavenger hunt.

Once again, Barton Community College’s Camp Aldrich is the site of a week-long camp offered to children who have, or have had, cancer.

Barb Keltner with Camp Hope said 86 volunteers arrived at Camp Aldrich facility on Saturday, preparing for the annual Camp Hope. On Sunday, 33 campers and their parents began to arrive. The nonprofit group KyMel Inc. offers Camp Hope ( as a normal, active, and safe camp experience where children can celebrate life with, through, and beyond the diagnosis of cancer. It has been held yearly in the third full week of June since 1983 and for most of those years it has been at Camp Aldrich.

Camp Hope offers the campers an opportunity to do things that all children do and to be among peers who have, or have had, similar life-threatening illnesses. It provides a sense of empowerment, of self-determination and of self esteem, sponsors said. Many former camper return as adults to volunteer each year.

Camp Hope is staffed by a 24-hour on-site medical team typically including physicians, nurses, a pharmacist and mental health specialists. 

Camp Hope allows the children to see they are not alone in their struggle and provide peer support for everyone involved.

gaga ball
Campers enjoy a game of Gaga Ball.