A pediatric cancer diagnosis changes the life of a child and their family forever. What used to be normal is turned upside down, and suddenly nothing feels normal anymore. Families take on a new schedule filled with hospital visits, treatments, and unexpected medical events, which leads to time away from family, friends, school, and activities. Fear, anxiety, isolation, and loss of identity can create social and emotional wounds as children often become socially isolated during treatment, and it becomes difficult to reconnect with peers after treatment ends.
At Camp HOPE, being sick isn’t the obstacle, the climbing wall to the Zip line is!! Camp provides a chance to laugh, play, and be silly away from the hospital setting, yet in a medically safe and secure camp environment. Our campers have the chance to learn a new craft or skill, ride a horse, (perhaps for the very first time), go swimming, fishing, boating, do target sports, zip line, or even ride the giant swing! Camp HOPE creates a safe place to share experiences and express emotions, but also to see what other campers have overcome in the face of some of the same hardships.
WHAT MAKES CAMP HOPE SO SPECIAL
- Our Campers- we cannot wait to see our campers come back every year, but the best bit of camp magic is how excited our campers are to meet new friends every year! H-A-P-P-Y, I LOVE CAMP!!
- Our Camp ground-each year Camp HOPE is located at Timber Pointe Outdoor Center in Hudson, IL. Owned and operated by Easter Seals Central Illinois, it is the premier campground in the state of Illinois for providing specialized recreational programs for individual with disabilities and illnesses in a fun, safe and accessible environment.
- Our Staff-They are the Best of the Best!!!- From veteran campers turned counselors, to an AMAZING Kitchen and Snack Shack Crew, to our medical (ZOO) staff with a combined 35+ years of camp medical experience, to utilizing nursing/medical students as counselors in cabins: we pride ourselves on the extensive interview, fun and craziness training, and background checks performed to ensure a one of a kind camp experience for our camper/s!!
- Special Events- Special Events are EPIC at Camp HOPE! Carnivals, laser tag, GAGA ball, food wars, and special visitors are just a few of the fun events we do each night at Camp HOPE.
CAMP HOPE PROGRAMS
Camp HOPE’s mission is to help heal the emotional wounds caused by these horrible diseases by offering free in-person and hospital based camp programs. Camp offers an opportunity to meet, bond and find understanding through shared experiences. Our purpose is to serve active pediatric cancer and blood disease patients, survivors, and their siblings with an in-person, week-long camp for children ages 6-16. We understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be for siblings too; so each patient is allowed to bring one sibling per year.
Additionally, we have added our “HOPE to Hospital” program for patients restricted to the hospital/home, and are unable to attend camp in person. Our “HOPE to Hospital” program allows active patients an opportunity to FaceTime with their camp friends and do some of the same or modified activities while in the hospital, in clinic, or at home. HOPE to Hospital campers must qualify medically to participate with permission from their Hem/Onc physician. These special campers (kindergarten– 16 yr.), will receive a HOPE Box filled with games, activities, crafts, and prizes, along with one-to-one instruction from some very special volunteers.
MEDICAL CARE AT CAMP HOPE
The health and safety of our campers is our top priority at Camp HOPE. We provide a well-equipped yet unobtrusive, medical and security presence. Even though it doesn’t look like a hospital or clinic, “The ZOO” staff provide all treatments for the campers we serve. These treatments can include: medications (oral, IV, IM, subcutaneous), IV infusions (medications, fluids, and nutrition), G/J-tube feedings, chemotherapy, central line care and more.
Camp HOPE works closely with the Children’s Hospital of Illinois’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology clinic and the University Of Illinois School Of Medicine to staff our “ZOO” (medical infirmary) with some of the same familiar faces they have seen throughout their treatment. The full-time medical staff work closely with the camper’s parents and medical providers before the child’s arrival at Camp to understand each child’s medical needs. Our nurses provide routine, scheduled medical care as prescribed by each camper’s primary physicians or specialists and their parents. Parents have the opportunity to review all medical care, special needs, medications, restrictions, etc. on arrival day. We can also provide emergent and non-emergent medical care 24/7 as needed while the children are at Camp.
JOIN OUR CAMP HOPE FAMILY
Make a difference with your time and talent to ensure that children with serious medical conditions have the chance to experience the world of possibilities that camp has to offer. No matter how involved you would like to be, Camp HOPE has multiple ways to make an impact in the lives of our campers: whether it be jumping in on the fun and helping prepare for camp, hosting your own fundraising event, sponsoring an event/program, or making a donation, we are thankful and would like to connect with you!
PARTNER WITH US
Every corporate/school partnership with Camp HOPE is unique. We will work with you to craft the perfect plan for your company. Here are some great ways to be a corporate partner
- Host a fundraising event
- Provide sponsorship for an event
- Help send a select number of campers to camp
- Provide food for the day or a meal for campers
- Sponsor and decorate a cabin
- Provide helpers for setup and pickup for the week of camp
- Provide a Camp HOPE day at the office. Employees purchase a Camp HOPE shirt and wear it on “Casual Day”
“Dax Foundation Awarded $20,000 Grant on Behalf of Northwestern Mutual Financial Professional, Josh Waite.”
"I started supporting Camp HOPE, because I wanted to help the St. Jude patients and their families. Camp HOPE is for ANY cancer or blood disorder patients throughout Illinois and the surrounding states."
- Julie Moore