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Camp Hope Summer Camp benefits kids with cancer
CAMP HOPE COURTESY PHOTO BY MARC STRATTON At Camp Hope on Tuesday, the campers had the opportunity to try their arms at archery. Addison Leslie, 14, of Lawrence is concentrating completely on preparing her next shot.


Special to the Tribune

Camp Hope will be winding up their week at Camp Aldrich Saturday morning, completing its 37th year of providing a free summer camp for kids who have or have had cancer. 

Thursday activities include a Talent Show, playing Human Battleship, enjoying a visit from a K-State baseball player, and culminate with a visit from the Barton Planetarium where they’ll make star catchers and get to use a telescope to view the stars. 

On Friday, the campers will be treated to a performance by the Topeka High School Drumline, have a number of end-of-the-week tournaments, and then end the evening with a camp dance with a circus theme.

Camp Hope offers campers an opportunity to do things that all children do and to be among peers who have, or have had, similar life-altering illnesses in a setting that lets them forget about their diagnoses while they have one of the best weeks of their lives. Accredited by the American Camp Association, Camp Hope also offers a day camp starting at age 4 for youth who are too young or unable to attend the full week of camp. Camp Hope provides free bus transportation is provided from Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita.

Camp Hope is staffed by a 24 hour on-site medical team including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, 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. 

Unique in its ability to assist campers’ needs through a fully functional, on-site medical team, Camp Hope campers are able to enjoy swimming, fishing, archery, crafts, bowling, miniature golf, and even a trip into the Great Bend waterpark and zoo. 

Camp Hope is funded by the nonprofit KyMel. Its website has more information.