Camp Hope: A Special Camp for Special Kids
Summer camp is a rite of passage for many kids. But Camp Hope in Barton County, Kansas, offers campers something besides swimming, archery and arts and crafts: a chance to be with other kids who can relate to their journey.
Camp Hope is for children and teens 5 to 17 who have, or have had, cancer.
For one week in June, they can just be kids without feeling “different” or having to explain their illness or their bald head. The camp, accredited by the American Camp Association and staffed by a 24 hour on-site medical team, offers them the chance to share their emotions and experiences with peers who get it. And of course, it’s loads of fun.
“That is the best week of some of those kids’ lives. They’ve looked forward to that for 51 weeks of the year,” said Gail Moeder, an Aflac sales agent in Great Bend, Kansas. Moeder began volunteering for Camp Hope 20 years ago after losing two close relatives to cancer — and she’s never stopped.
“Once you do it, it just gets in your blood.”
Moeder said volunteering for the camp is far from sad or depressing. “There’s a whole lot more laughter than there is tears that week, I can tell you that.”
Watch the video to hear more of Moeder’s story and witness the fun and games from afar.