This summer, children will be attending summer camps put on by five of Community Health Charities of Nebraska’s charities. These camps give them the traditional summer camp experience while also allowing them to meet and spend time with other kids who share the same medical needs and experiences they do.
“I love camp not because of the activities we do or where we are. It's special because of all the people. I love how all the counselors take a week of their time to take care of us and hang out with us. They're more like friends than anything,” said Nina Meyer, who attended MDA Summer Camp in June, put on by the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Nebraska.
Camp also gives parents peace of mind, as camps are medically supervised and have trained professionals available to ensure campers’ safety, as well as counselors to assist children while they attend summer camp. Parents also see the benefits camp provides for their children year-round.
“For one week, we don't have to hear the countdown for when camp starts. The best days of her life!” said Becky Meyer, Nina’s mom.
Camp Oasis, supported by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Nebraska/Iowa Chapter, helps children gain independence and learn about their disease and how to manage it.
“Maddie doesn't feel isolated or abnormal with her disease. CCFA Camp Oasis helped to build a network of healthy relationships with doctors, staff and campers with similar conditions. Without Camp Oasis, Maddie would continue to internalize her feelings of loneliness about her disease. At camp and with social media, Maddie can share her feels with her CCFA friends, something that is difficult to do with her friends outside of the ‘Oasis Bubble,’” said Maddie’s parents.
Often, children can attend camp at no cost or on partial scholarship, so donor dollars given through CHC-NE are particularly valuable to help with the costs associated with the camps. Depending on the camp, it could cost $100 or more per child per day, but the memories made at camp last a lifetime.
“Camp Oasis is my home away from home. It's the one thing I look forward to year after year. I've been able to meet so many amazing people who have had such a positive impact on my life. If I had never gone to this camp, I truly believe I would be a COMPLETELY different person. Camp Oasis is my favorite place in the world, and I would not trade that week of the year for anything,” said a camper who attended Camp Oasis in 2016.
Here are the camps scheduled for 2017:
- Camp SuperKids, American Lung Association (402-502-4950). June 11 to June 17 at Camp Kitaki in Louisville, Nebraska.
- MDA Summer Camp, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Nebraska (402-390-2914). June 14 to June 19 at Camp Calvin Crest in Fremont, Nebraska.
- Family Camp, Nebraska Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation (402-742-5663). Aug. 11 to Aug. 13 at Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center in Gretna, Nebraska.
- Camp Oasis, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Nebraska/Iowa Chapter (402-505-9901.) July 31 to Aug. 5 at One Heartland in Willow River, Minnesota.
- Camp Spirit, Arthritis Foundation Nebraska (402-330-6130). June 18 to June 24 in Louisville, Nebraska.