My first year as a camper, I was 8 years old and was going through chemotherapy. At first I was scared to go because I did not know what to expect nor did I know anyone going. I remember arriving at camp and exiting the bus and being greeted by so many smiley faces. There were so many kids but some of them were bald just like me! Then I was put in a group with kids my age and two counselors and that is when the fun began.
There were so many different activities during the week of camp, swimming, archery, arts and crafts and music. The first night we arrived there was a camp fire, so make sure to bring warm clothes. Expect to gain some weight because the food is great and there are tons of snacks throughout the day. I made so many friends while at camp, some who had cancer like me and some who had brothers or sisters with cancer. I remember one of my favorite days being Thursday night, which was a dance. It was fun to get out on the dance floor all dressed up and be a normal kid. My counselors also made some time for this thing we call “spirit stick”. As a cabin you pick a stick and get to carve on it. You can choose to tell a story about how cancer has affected you or simply carve just for fun. On the last camp fire you get to put the carvings and stick into the camp fire. Staff later collects the ashes and now you are part of camp, forever!
At the end of the week I was very sad because camp was over. I had to say good bye too many friends and the countdown began for next year! “It was the best week ever” and now 20 years later, I hear that from many campers and know you will say the same when you leave camp. So what you can expect is one of the best weeks of your life!!