Family Information for Camp

Sending Your Child to Camp For the First Time

We at the BI-LO Charities Children's Cancer Center understand that sending your child off to camp is exciting, nerve wrecking, and sometimes sad. However, sending a child living with cancer or a blood disorder off to camp for the first time can be extremely scary.

So, we want you to know that we understand your fear, anxiety, and concerns. However, we take having your child with us at camp as a privilege and a responsibility that we consider very serious.

Camp Courage has full-time counselors in every cabin, and we keep the counselor to camper ratio to no more than 1 counselor per two campers depending on the age of the campers. All counselors have undergone background screenings, health screenings, and training on how to help our campers with being at camp.

Cabins at camp courage are divided by gender and age, so you can rest assure that your child is with peers his/her same age or peers within no more than two years of his/her age.

Camp Courage is staffed by a full-time physician, nurse practitioner, and registered nurse that are there to take care of any and all medical needs while your child is at camp. This means, our medical staff handles anything as small as a cut all the way up to a fever. No medical issues are ever treated by a counselor or volunteer at camp.

Our medical team is all staff members that already know and treat your child while they are at home. Every medical staff member at camp works or has worked at the BI-LO Charities Children's Cancer Center either inpatient in the hospital or outpatient in the cancer treatment center. So, they are already the physicians, nurse practitioner, and nurses that you know and your child know.

Communication with campers by parents is limited while at camp, for several reasons:

  • We want campers to have a sense of independence and control at camp
  • We want campers to build confidence and prepare them for the future
  • Because we know from past experience that hearing mommy's or daddy's voice can sometimes cause more anxiety and homesickness than if they simply had the week to spend with peers and counselors.
  • Sometimes hearing mommy or daddy's voice is what a camper needs to feel safe and be able to remain at camp.  If a compromise is made with your child to be able to call home, please keep an open mind and do not rush out to pick them up. We will guide you and talk with you regarding any issues before they call.

Communication by phone, text, email, blog, and Facebook are provided for families throughout the week through the camp director. If you have any issue or simply need an update on your child, there are many different ways to talk with staff, which will be provided at drop off.

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