Catch-up and connect at camp

campers laughing together at camp

Sixteen-year-old Sam was a quiet kid, even before they were diagnosed with APL Leukemia. During their time at SickKids, they were even more withdrawn. Every time program specialist Lori visited, Sam was reluctant to hang out.

Lori was patient and persistent, though, and eventually talked them into a game of Uno. After that, Uno became a regular activity, and a regular chance to talk about the opportunities overnight camp could provide.

Sam had missed a lot of school, and they were worried about graduating on time with their peers. Lori knew the high school credit program we offer through our Teen & Leadership program was a great option, but Sam wasn’t so sure. Being away from home with a group of kids made them almost as nervous as the thought of an extra year of high school.

It was only one week before summer when Lori finally convinced them to sign up, and we made sure they were able to join.

Although Sam arrived timid and unsure of what to expect, just days later they had learned to steer a canoe, signed up to tell jokes at the evening campfire, and led programs for younger Campers. Most importantly, Sam was excelling in their course work.

Sam came home from Camp with a credit that would keep them on track to graduate high school with their classmates. They also returned with a new group of friends—friends who understand what spending long periods in the hospital and undergoing treatment is like.

The first week they were back, Sam—who had been so reluctant to come to camp—was already signed up for fall programs!

*Camper and family names and images have been changed to protect privacy

Camp is my place, your place, and our place

Celebrations of life and love, together

Share your story

If you would like to share your camp story with us, please contact:

Michelle Guignard

Development Coordinator, Annual Giving

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