Wednesday was another fun-filled day for campers and volunteers alike at Camp Hope. They got the opportunity to visit in Great Bend and enjoy the fun activities the city has to offer.
“Camp in really great this year,” camper Chelsea Glavin said. “We get to do all kinds of exciting and fun things throughout the week so far.”
The day started with a early-morning breakfast that is cooked by the kitchen volunteers at Camp Hope and then everyone was bussed to town from Camp Aldrich to spend the rest of the morning playing laser tag and roller skating.
“I am going to give roller skating a try for a bit and then join in on laser tag. It has been awhile since I played that,” Glavin said. “Should be a lot of fun. I get to hang out with my friends.”
After the morning events, the campers were taken to the bowling alley were they ate lunch and enjoyed a few games of bowling and tried their luck at miniature golf. Then, they headed back to camp to play games like Who’s Line is it Anyway, Mission Impossible and capture the flag.
“Camp is more than just playing games and participating in the activities,” Glavin said. “I really look forward to hanging out with my friends that I have made over the five years of coming to camp along with seeing my house parents. I have had the same house parents for the last five years and they are the best. This is what is exciting for me, the friendship and the people.”
Thursday’s events will take the campers to the swimming pool and to the zoo for an animal demonstration.
Camp Hope began as a dream of a special individual who wanted to give children with cancer a safe haven in the summer to be kids, a camp of their own.
In 1983, Donna Brown, “Ma” Donna, established the first Camp Hope in partnership with the American Cancer Society. Her vision was inspired over time as a parent of two children with cancer.
Even though her son, Kyle, died in 1971 from a brain tumor and her daughter, Melani, in 1984 from leukemia, she never gave up hope for a camp for kids with cancer to become a reality.
The first Camp Hope took place near Salina. In 1984, Camp Hope changed locations to Camp Aldrich, next to the Cheyenne Bottoms north of Great Bend, where it continues today.
Thanks to Brown, and many dedicated volunteers, Camp Hope has been the highlight of many children’s summers. It is now sponsored by Camp Hope Heartland.
The theme of Camp Hope has always been letting kids be kids, allowing them to forget about cancer to enjoy a fun-filled week of activities with friends.
The week is packed with a variety of activities for kids and teens and has several traditions that are carried on from year to year. A daily newsletter keeps everyone up to date on the latest news at camp as well as funny stories about campers and volunteers. An annual yearbook documents the week.