Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Mexico Camp Offers Getaway for Cancer-Stricken Children

My opinion:  Every time I hear about something like this, I'm so amazed and glad!  There are so many creative therapies out there, and I'm excited to see what's to come!  Given that the camp has been doing this for 27 years, I think they could be used as an example to create/improve similar camps.  I believe the duration of the camp is just right - one week gives the kids a fair amount of time to relate to each other, but I think any longer than that and it would be easy for them to see all peers as cancer-stricken.  But I also like how the camp's main focus is not on cancer - it offers a getaway experience for the children where, for a while, they can push aside the painful disease.  But since this is just for youngsters, are there retreats for adult cancer survivors, and even for other diseases?  I know cancer is a major issue everywhere, but clearly it's not the only disease on the planet.  Also, I wonder if some of the kids get financial aid to attend Camp Enchantment - I imagine some might not be able to afford it.  Any other tips?  Feel free to comment.

Camp provides peer support

By on Tue, May 28, 2013
It’s a shot of the new infused with a dose of the familiar at Camp Enchantment, New Mexico’s weeklong sleepaway camp for children who have battled cancer.
What’s new at the camp, which opened Sunday for its 27th session that lasts until Saturday: a peak number of participants – 84 – and a system to track the medical needs of all the campers, about half of whom take daily medications.
And what’s familiar at the camp, held at Manzano Mountain Retreat, an hour southeast of Albuquerque: arts and crafts, games, and all the other kids’ staples.
“Last night we got to sign up for all these activities!” said first-time camper Serenity Gatlin, 8, from Albuquerque, who’ll enter fourth-grade at Sandia Base Elementary. On her sign-up form, she’d written archery, sports and “Cake Boss,” held Monday afternoon.
Modeled after a TLC show of the same name, campers decorated unfrosted cakes. When asked where his cake was, Alec Lopez, an 11-year-old from Santa Fe who’d decorated his to resemble Cookie Monster, couldn’t produce it. “I shoved my face in it first,” he said.
Like Serenity and Alec, many of the kids whose parents dropped them off over the weekend don’t look different from other children, as they hugged their friends from last year and made shrinky-dinks and wove potholders.
Others, playing games in the gym and lunching on pizza and homemade peanut butter cookies, have scars from tumor surgeries or missing hair. Some campers receive chemotherapy orally at the Med Shed near the cafeteria, while others are in remission.

From: http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2013/05/28/news/camp-provides-peer-support.html

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