Dr. Dave McCluskey, camp founder
You know when we look at cancer…I talk about the physical side
of it and the side of trying to heal with the drugs. But there's
also you know a spiritual side and a mental side that isn't touched
in any other way than with nature and here with these kids just
enjoying each other and helping each other.
In the very beginning years, cancer was a pretty bad disease
for children and we would lose maybe a third of the children.
And now we just lose, some years none, some years just one or
two. So we're making such strides it's great.
Tim Tyree, cancer
survivor and camp director, 2003
We give them something that many other outdoor camps can't give. The atmosphere here, in addition to being outdoors…is one of support and of comfort that they can come here and be comfortable in being involved and be comfortable in having very serious scars or disease or being sick at mealtime.
There's been times in the past when you're told go say goodbye to someone and you did and those were extremely tough times. And you come back the next year and here she's back. And two years go by and here's she's back. Five years later they're a counselor. There's some pretty magical things that happen out there. So it's difficult at times, but the magic is far worth it.
Mark Funaiole, counselor
I first came to camp because of my son's best friend Jeff, who had leukemia. Jeff and I made a pact that if he got through it, we were going to start going to camp. So we did the next year, and I just found out what an amazing place this was.
Rob Cronin, cancer
survivor and camp assistant director, 2003
You get here and the kids wear their feelings right on their sleeves
and there's no holding back. And the real emotional part was getting
close to some of the kids that have it a lot worse than you ever
did or ever have, and knowing that they're being a lot braver
So many people have it in their hearts to do this but they're
afraid. I can't emphasize enough that all you have to do is
give it a try and you'll realize that it's actually easier than
you think. And you'll have a lot more to give than you think.
And then once you're involved you're gonna get a lot more out
of it than you even give.
Vince Hawkins, fishing
Even though at the end of the week, I'm drained, I feel like I've
run a marathon, it's recharging. And it makes you feel like you're
worth something that you can give something back to your community.
Les Curvey, cancer
survivor and counselor
About a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with cancer and went through my treatments and so far things are looking great and I was trying to think of a way that I could give back and use what I think are some of my gifts with kids and it has just been an incredible experience.
Maggie Sup, camp
People say, "How can you do that, how can you come to this camp and do this?" You know. And I say, "Oh, you wouldn't believe it, I hate to be selfish, but I get so much out of it."
Kathy Sewall, camp
executive director, 2003
Most of the camps I work on are youth empowerment or teen leadership
camps. One of my major issues that I had to work on with them
is their own sense of vulnerability and I spent a lot of time
trying to get them to understand their own mortality or the fact
that they were taking high risks with their bodies, or with their
health or with their minds. Here it's not an issue. They already
know their vulnerabilities, they're already aware of their mortality.
Pat Kubicki, camp
Well I love doing this. I love these kids. I think that camp is as important as any piece of their therapy. It's good for the soul.
I've been doing this for 30 years. When I first started working with these children, cancer was considered a terminal disease for children. Now it's considered a chronic disease and our goal is to keep their lives as normal as possible and keep them functioning as best we can a normal child.