Cancer Services hosted the Camp Care finale party at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church to cap off the weeklong day camp, focused on children with cancer and their siblings.
Out of the 35 campers that attended, 16 of them have or had cancer. All of the kids enjoyed a week highlighted by a trip to LSU that comprised of a visit to Mike the Tiger’s habitat, a tour of Tiger Stadium, and meeting several LSU football players. Other activities included a visit to the Knock Knock Children’s Museum, a swamp tour, a trip to Airborne Extreme. The campers also received a special escort by Louisiana State Police on their laser tag trip to Adventure Quest in New Orleans.
Director of Cancer Services, Whitney Craig, led camp efforts, along with 28 volunteer counselors, six of them being cancer survivors. Camp Care is free of charge to all campers, thanks to donor generosity.
“This week provides a much-needed distraction from a disease that can take over so many aspects of these kid’s lives,” said Craig. “It’s a break from the treatments and appointments and provides opportunities to connect with others who can understand their experiences. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing their smiles and hearing them laugh.”
Eleven-year-old camper and cancer survivor, Ainsley D., summed up her feelings about Camp Care in an emotional letter she wrote and shared with everyone during the finale party.
“I would like to thank you for my wonderful experience at Camp Care,” Ainsley read aloud. “When I’m there I feel like I’m not being judged, that I’m welcomed with open arms, and most of all, I feel overwhelmed with happiness! I’m sorry to say we will all have to wait for another year for the amazing, magnificent Camp Care!”
Cancer Services hosts four additional kids’ camps each year. They include:
·Camp Climb, a weeklong day camp for children who have a parent with cancer.
·Camp Spotlight, in partnership with Manship Theatre, a weeklong musical theater camp for children impacted by cancer.
·Camp Erin, in partnership with Eluna, a weekend camp for children who have experienced the death of a loved one.
·STEM Camp, in partnership with St. Joseph’s Academy, a day camp for teens impacted by cancer that share an interest in STEM related fields.
Pictured are Camp Care campers, volunteer counselors, camp staff, and local law enforcement.