Sunday, June 26, 2011

Camp Quality 2011

This summer, my company had an opportunity to volunteer our time for a day to serve at a camp about an hour from Kansas City called "Camp Quality".

The camp has been around for 26 years and has the express purpose of ministering to kids from 4 yrs old to 17 yrs old who are currently in treatment or remission for cancer. The vision of the camp is to enable all children with cancer and their families a way to find joy and hope through shared experiences and an ongoing support system.

It was such an amazing time - none of us could have ever imagined the impact one Sunday afternoon would have on our lives.

As the children arrive on Sunday afternoon for a week of fun, they are greeted by many companions and hundreds of volunteers whose goal is to make this one of the funnest times of their summer. It begins with a carnival on the common area of the grounds where they can play games, win prizes and earn tickets to be used for special awards later in the week.

"We" volunteers arrived ready to get cracking and busied ourselves, getting our booth ready for the arrival of the kids wanting to play ring toss and a glider plane toss through a hoola hoop.

We had a ball getting to know the campers and it was great fun watching my husband get bamboozled into giving each player more than his fair share of play! The company donated some trucks that had been used for advertising in the past and we loaded the back end with bracelets, rings and toys of all kinds.

Ryan is a now part of the staff at Camp Quality. He originally started out as a camper, then graduated to a companion, pairing up with a camper - and finally made it to a role of Camp Staff. It was great to see him again this year but with a heavy heart, Ryan shared that his brain cancer had returned last December. He was quick to state that he's determined to beat it and I believe him!
One of my dear friends volunteered to be a cabin mom for the entire week and before we left camp that day, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting the boys in "Peace Haven South". Each young boy managed to capture my heart in that short span of time on Sunday afternoon and I know Donna's life is changed forever. Special activities were planned each day from horseback riding, swimming, archery, Goop Wars and Bubble Pools to variety shows, costume parties and even Prom for the graduating campers!
I will share some pictures that have touched my heart and I sure hope they touch yours as well.

Working with these kids and this camp made such a major impression on my husband and myself that next year, we have decided that we are going to volunteer to work at the camp for the entire week. I want to be a cabin mom and Darrell wants to assist the camp "handyman" Dennis, who does everything from unplugging toilets to making sure every aspect of the camp runs as it should behind the scenes.
Sounds perfect, and I know neither of us can wait!