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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Camp FantasticYesterday my sister Nora got back from a week at Camp Fantastic, a camp for kids with cancer, run by Special Love. My sister was there as a volunteer. She served as both a camp counselor, supervising two girls for the week, and assisted with classes (such as Film Class). This is an opportunity that my sister looks forward to every year. As a childhood cancer survivor herself, the camp serves as both a way to give back as well as a strong community of other survivors and families who understand this unique challenge.

Special Love’s motto is that every kid has a right to be a kid. When I see Nora talk about her time at camp, it seems like the real motto is that everyone has a right to be a kid for a week. The counselors get so into the fun, spending months beforehand planning and collecting donations (Nora collected bags upon bags of toilet paper rolls to make decorations for the dance), and creating magic at camp. They turn camp into a place where anything is possible and where adults are there for the amusement of children, though it is hard to tell who is having more fun.

Camp Fantastic makes a huge difference in the lives of children battling cancer. It is all possible because of volunteers who commit their time and their heart to this program. On paper, this endeavor should not be possible. Most people would not be able to imagine that a week-long camp for kids with very serious health problems, almost entirely run by volunteers, with an extremely limited budget would even exist. Luckily, it does and it should be looked to as an example of the best that can come from volunteers getting together and having a lot of community support to pursue a worthwhile mission.

Do you know of similar camps in other parts of the country? How do they do it? What about other volunteer-run initiatives that seem to accomplish impossible feats? What can volunteer programs learn from successes like Camp Fantastic?

Post from Rotary about their involvement with Camp Fantastic

Video from TBD News about this year’s Camp Fantastic

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Merry Christmas to All

I love Christmas.   What that means for me is: I love putting up the Christmas tree (which I got to do twice this year).  I love Christmas music (which I didn’t get nearly enough of this year).  I love getting together with family that I don’t see nearly often enough.  I love picking out presents for my family and friends.  I love Christmas cookies (which I should have far less of).  I love going to see Santa Claus (for which I now need to co-opt a small child).

And … I love wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

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