The Children’s Oncology Camping Association International (COCA-I) has identified the many benefits of camping for children with cancer. “These children can have a variety of limitations, but first and foremost, they are still children – and want to be treated the same as children without cancer with opportunities to run, play, swim and enjoy being with other kids.” The same could be said for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Camping helps children learn how to better cope with the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of their illnesses. The memories made at camp can help them navigate the pain and isolation of illness. The skills they learn can improve gross, fine and graphomotor skills and eye-hand coordination. Living with peers enables children to learn important social skills and the friendships can positively impact self-image and confidence.
Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special have been designed to maximize the benefits for our campers. Each facet of the program is carefully thought out. Every day packs in a full 24 hours of amazing, fun-filled activities that keep spirits high and encourage personal growth. The program is a mixture of traditional camp activities (adapted for children with illnesses and disabilities) and special events like talent shows, concerts, helicopter and motorcycle rides. Our Medical Center can handle everything from boo-boos to emergencies, but our medical professionals work diligently to assure that few campers ever see the inside of the state-of-the-art facilities.
Our annual evaluations show that it’s working: the overwhelming majority of campers and parents report that children have made friends and gained important physical and life skills while having the time of their lives.