Registration is now open for Camp Hope, a summer camp for youth who have, or have had, cancer. It takes place each June at Barton Community College’s Camp Aldrich near Claflin.
Accredited by the American Camp Association, Camp Hope is open to children and teens between the ages of 5 and 17 years. Sponsors also offer a day camp starting at age 4 for youth who are too young or simply unable to attend the full week of camp.
Camp Hope is free for all attendees. Free bus transportation is available for campers from Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita.
Unique in its ability to assist campers’ needs through a fully functional, on-site medical team, Camp Hope campers are able to enjoy traditional summer camp activities including swimming, bowling, golf, fishing, hiking, archery, and arts and crafts. It is a time for the children or youth to be around peers who have, or have had, similar life-altering illnesses and to be in a setting that lets them forget about their diagnosis while they have one of the best weeks of their lives, said Barb Keltner, Camp Hope volunteer and media coordinator from Medicine Lodge.
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.
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.
The Camp Hope Heartland website at camphopeheartland.com has more information and a link to registration for Camp Hope, the special place beyond the rainbow for youth with cancer.