JUNE 21-27, 2020
Building relationships that will last a lifetime, learning new skills, and getting outside and being active are some of the biggest benefits of attending summer camp. Thanks to a partnership between EMMC and the Bangor YMCA, children who are currently being treated for cancer or blood disorders, or have been treated for these conditions in the past, have an opportunity to enjoy the traditional summer camp experience.
At Camp Hope, formerly known as Camp Rainbow, children enjoy swimming, crafts, campfires, hiking and sporting activities in an environment that allow campers and their families to focus on having fun and not on a cancer diagnosis. Campers are encouraged to bring siblings, and all campers age 4 to 7 are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The powerful healing that takes place in the great outdoors, and by participating in activities previously off-limits to "sick kids" is truly incredible! Healthcare professionals from Northern Light Health are on hand at all times to meet the unique healthcare needs of campers. Siblings of a child with cancer have their emotional needs attended to at camp, enjoying an environment where they don't have to worry about their sibling, and can benefit from the attention and encouragement of the counselors.
Camp Hope truly provides just that: hope. Not only is it an opportunity for kids who have spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital to be in the great outdoors and feel like a healthy kid again, but their families feed off of the success stories of survivors, giving them hope and support. There is nothing more powerful than a mom whose child was recently diagnosed, or whose child is in the middle of a grueling chemo treatment, connecting with the parent of a child who is in remission. Parents in the thick of it can watch other kids running and playing post-cancer, and have hope that their child will one day be well too. They can connect with other parents about the stress of medical bills, and be comforted to know that it will may all work out in the end. And for those families whose child is not on track to recover, this community provides an indescribable support, there for each other throughout the year, through good times and bad.
Camp Hope is held at the Bangor YMCA Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan in Ellsworth. There is no charge to attend thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor through the EMHS Foundation.
For more information please email Carolyn Wills-Barberi at EMMC or call 207-973-9749.