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Offering hope and support to families with childhood cancer.
Camp Wapiyapi provides kids facing cancer a fun and "normal" summer camp experience, an experience they would not be able to get at a traditional residential camp. Campers say it’s the "best week of the year" as they escape from the hospital and doctor’s office to enjoy outdoor adventures, laughing, dancing, singing --- and simply being with others who understand. Our program is designed for children ages 6-17 years of age and we serve the patient and their siblings.
Nearly 300 individuals volunteer each year who provide understanding, leadership, compassion, safety and direction to our campers. Wapiyapi has a unique one-on-one camper to counselor (companion) ratio with many of the companions being cancer survivors themselves, and many having been former campers. As one volunteer shares, "The courage and strength of the campers and companions affected by cancer has shaped the way I view the world."
The camp is abundantly staffed with volunteer physicians and nurses who say that it is refreshing to see the kids outside the hospital environment. "When you experience seeing the joy on their faces," a volunteer explains, "you realize that Camp Wapiyapi is special. Special in the way that it allows kids with cancer to momentarily travel back to a time before their diagnoses."
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