For many children, summer camp is a highlight of their year – a time to make new friends, explore the great outdoors, and create lifelong memories. But for those battling pediatric pancreatitis, these experiences can be overshadowed by the challenges of their illness. Luckily, a summer program specifically designed for pancreatitis is available to pediatric patients, so they can experience all the joys of camp without limitations.
About Camp Hope
Established in 2021 through a collaboration between Rebecca’s Wish and the National Pancreas Foundation, Camp Hope offers a unique overnight summer camp experience for children dealing with pediatric pancreatitis or those who have undergone TPIAT surgery. With a dedicated on-site medical and psychosocial team, the camp provides a safe and enjoyable environment for children to partake in a range of fun activities typically associated with summer camps. The camp is free and travel stipends are available to those who are in need of financial assistance.
At Camp Hope, kids can be kids, free to explore their interests, bond with peers who share their struggles, and create positive memories that can last a lifetime. As Christyn Taylor, President of Rebecca’s Wish, explains, “Camp Hope addresses not only the physical aspect of childhood pancreatitis but the emotional and social aspects as well. It lets children experience the gift of being a kid through joy and laughter without the weight of their disease.”
The When, Where, and Who of Camp Hope
Camp Hope will be held from July 30th to August 4th, 2023 at Morgan’s Wonderland Camp in San Antonio, Texas. Morgan’s Wonderland Camp is an Ultra-Accessible™ camp, designed for campers with physical and developmental disabilities so they can participate in activities alongside guests without special needs. Camp Hope is available to pediatric pancreatitis patients who are 8 to 18 years old, along with volunteers ages 19 or older.
What activities are available to campers?
Campers will have the opportunity to build friendships with fellow pediatric pancreatitis sufferers through a number of camp activities, such as:
- Horseback Riding
- and More
How To Register
Families interested in registering their child for Camp Hope can do so through the Rebecca’s Wish or the National Pancreas Foundation’s website. During the registration process, families can request financial assistance for travel to San Antonio, Texas, as well as transportation assistance from the airport to the Camp. The camp can provide sheets and blankets as needed.
How to Get Involved
Become a Volunteer
Camp Hope is looking for compassionate volunteers who are 19 years or older and want to make a positive impact on the lives of pediatric pancreatitis patients. Whether you have a personal connection to pancreatitis or simply want to help, there are many opportunities to get involved:
- Medical volunteers: If you have a medical background, you can volunteer your time to help ensure the health and safety of the campers.
- Activity volunteers: Whether you love arts and crafts, sports, or other activities, there are many opportunities to help plan and lead fun and engaging activities for the campers.
- Camp counselors: As a camp counselor, you can serve as a mentor and role model for the campers, providing emotional support and helping to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
No matter your skills or experience, volunteering at Camp Hope is a rewarding and meaningful way to make a difference in the lives of children with pediatric pancreatitis.
Send a Child to Camp
Camp Hope is a free, overnight camping experience specifically designed for medically fragile children whose families may not otherwise be able to afford an accessible camp experience.
To ensure that Camp Hope continues to provide this essential service to families in need, the camp relies solely on donations and community support. By contributing to Camp Hope, you can help give these children a much-needed break from their medical challenges and provide them with an unforgettable summer camp experience. Your support can make all the difference in the lives of these children and their families.
Stay Up-To-Date on the Latest Pancreatitis Advancements
Mission: Cure is a coalition of patients, doctors, researchers, and entrepreneurs pioneering a new approach to curing diseases through innovative, outcome-based financing. Headquartered in New York, New York, and operating virtually, Mission: Cure collaborates with researchers, innovators, and impact investors to discover life-altering therapies and bring them to patients. Currently, Mission: Cure is focused on accelerating a cure for pancreatitis. Support Mission: Cure by donating at mission-cure.org, and stay up-to-date with the latest pancreatitis news by subscribing to Mission: Cure’s newsletter, following Mission: Cure on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and subscribing to its YouTube Channel. Join Mission: Cure’s pancreatitis communities on HealthUnlocked and Facebook.