Help Kids With Cancer Go To Camp

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These kids dream big—show them your support.

These kids dream big—show them your support.

With summer kamping season almost here, parents are excitedly planning on sending their children to summer camp. They’re flipping through catalogs deciding on which shoes will be sturdy enough, jackets warm enough and luggage tough enough to make it through a day, much less a week, with a kid.

And then they put down the catalog and wait for the doctor to come talk to them about their child’s latest round of chemotherapy and whether, at long last, the cancer finally might be in remission.

A Special Cause for Special Kids

While children and teens who have, or who have had, cancer face challenges that few adults can comprehend, it is important to remember that, at the end of the day, they are still kids who want to do the same thing that others their age are doing—including going to summer camp.

That’s why in 1984 KOA owners established Care Camps Trust, to raise funds for children’s cancer camps in the U.S. and Canada. These camps, most of which are staffed almost exclusively by volunteers, are specially equipped to handle the needs of cancer patients. Medical personnel are on-site to administer medications and monitor camper health and well being.

But most importantly, at these week-long camps, kids and their siblings are able to swim, climb, hike, get into water fights and laugh with others who can relate to what they’re going through. They make new friends and great memories that they can carry with them when they go back home—or back to the hospital.

KOA Kampers Make The Difference

In 2009 alone, $343,000 was donated by KOA owners and campers, bringing the total amount raised over the last 15 years to more than $3.5 million. This year, 400 of the 475+ KOA’s across North America will be participating in the year’s biggest fund-raising event: Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend.

On May 14 and 15, campers will have the chance to stay at their favorite participating KOA and get in on great activities, from spaghetti suppers and silent auctions to golf tournaments and rubber ducky regattas. And besides feeling good about raising money so kids with cancer can go to awesome camps created just for them, there are other benefits. Campers who stay as paid guests on Friday May 14th will get to camp Saturday night, May 15th, for free.

The money raised through donations will go to cancer camps, helping pay for food, medical equipment, linens, transportation and other camp needs a Camp Rainbow in Phoenix, Camp Make-A-Dream in Montana and more than 40 other KOA care camps.

See It For Yourself

Please take a few moments to meet some of the amazing children who attend these camps and see how they benefit from these programs by watching the videos above. Then go online to make your reservation for Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend May 14-15 at a participating KOA kampground near you.

There are some pretty amazing kids who will thank you for it.

Have you ever attended Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend to help raise money for KOA Cancer Camps? Or do you know a child who has benefited from these amazing camps? Please share your thoughts with us.

  • Gail K.

    LOVE the Come Camp and Care Day! Nice to know that we are helping these great kids, too.

  • Keisha in TX

    I think it’s so amazing that KOA does this for children with cancer. It’s a great fundraising event that impacts a lot of lives. Great job, KOA!

  • Jenny Dubreuil

    For the last 12 years, I’ve played and also help organize the annual golf tournament at the KOA in Gravenhurst, Ontario. It is always held the long weekend in August (tournament is held on the Saturday) and all proceeds go to help kids with cancer go to camp. It’s always an awesome time and you meet so many people and make a lot of special memories. Can’t wait for this year’s tournament.

  • Jaculin Taylor

    I run a camp for kids and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the San Diego (California) area…and all I can say to KOA is “THANK YOU for making a difference”. Any camp who works with a special needs population can tell you that the financial struggle of getting campers to camp is the biggest headache of the season! Why? Because you know that every kid who wants to go to camp should get to go to camp…regardless of the cost of providing support services to each camper! I have a quote in my office from a volunteer at The Painted Turtle Camp…”Camp is not 5 days, Camp is not a week, Camp is a Lifetime”. A constant reminder that “Camp” is a place you hold in your heart forever…however long your “forever” is! GO KOA!

    • KOA

      Jaculin and Jenny, all of us at KOA really appreciate all the work you do in helping these awesome kids. It’s truly is our pleasure to be a part of it all.

  • Katy Fink

    Our family has participated by camping on Mother’s Day weekend the last 3 years, and I am sure we will again this year.

    My oldest is mentally challenged, and has not had a chance to go to camp, other than with our family. I think all kids deserve the chance

    oops, fix your link!
    participating KOA kampground

    http://http//koa.com/comecampwithus/list.htm

  • M. Casado

    This is an excellent idea. Natural environments are a good therapy for physical and metal illnesses. As a camper, and a mother, I had experienced the happiness kids feel when they arrive to campgrounds. All those kids suffering from cancer deserve the chance to be happy, relax, free, around nature and pure air. And why not with their parents, who are also in a very stressful and painful situation. Every camper should make a donation to make more and more kids happy

  • Carolee Price

    This will be our first year we are very excited and happy to help.

  • Katrina Davis

    I KNOW HOW IT IS TO HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER WITH CANCER AND JUST TO LET THEM FEEL NORMAL AND GET TO HAVE FUN IS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. WE HAVE BEEN TO THE KOA IN TOWNSEND TN ON THIS SPECIAL WEEKEND FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS THIS IS WHAT I ASK FOR FOR MOTHERS DAY EVERY YEAR. IT ALLOWS MY FAMILY TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING GREAT SO THANK YOU KOA FOR THIS