Close your eyes and imagine a playground full of about 20 children laughing and playing. You notice the pure happiness on their faces as they chase their friends around the swings. You become reminiscent of your childhood days climbing the monkey bars and racing down the slides. Now imagine that same playground completely empty. The silence is eerie because you know this is not how it should be. You’re are now probably wondering what happened to those 20 kids that were playing at the playground before. In the minute it has taken you to create these images in your mind, those 20 children were diagnosed with cancer and can no longer simply be a child playing at a playground. Hospital visits and cancer treatments have now become their reality. The Little Red Door Cancer Agency offers a break from this reality at Camp Little Red Door.
Camp Little Red Door offers children with cancer a break from reality where the whole focus is not on the diagnosis, being in remission, or in the middle of treatment. Thanks to our experienced medical staff, many from the ranks of Riley Children’s Hospital and St. Vincent, medications (oral and intravenous) can even be given to our campers. The children are able to enjoy the day and just be kids. Their week at camp is filled with having fun and making lasting friendships. What started with 14 campers and a mission to focus on fun instead of illness, Camp Little Red Door has grown into a much anticipated week.
Camp Little Red Door, Indiana’s oldest camp for children with cancer, is a pediatric oncology camp designed to support the psychosocial and medical needs of youth 8-18 years of age. Campers can participate in swimming, canoeing, fishing, archery, campfires, arts and crafts, horseback riding, a physical challenge course featuring rope ladders and bridges, a handicap accessible zip line, and much more. One camper said, “This camp is so important because we can come here and be a kid. Forget about all the medical, all the hospital visits, all the shots, everything that we go through everyday for most of our childhood. And we can just be a kid.” Held at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, IN, our facilities are wheelchair accessible as well as our zip line. Bradford Woods is a learning and outdoor education center situated on a 2,500-acre natural environment.
We received this special note from a camper’s mother that perfectly captures the benefit of Camp Little Red Door and the break from reality it provides. “Thank you to the Little Red door camp for all the activities and fun you have provided. [My son] told me of all the things he didn’t think he could do while he was there and realized he could. What a jump it has given him to continue his journey. I also enjoyed my break from “nursing duties” while he was there…I am glad there is a camp to let children who have cancer have some fun and enjoy new things. Thanks for caring and all that you and your staff do for the children!”
Dates for the 2016 camp are June 16th – 24th.
Visit the Camp Little Red Door site for more information.