|The view from the dining hall patio|
|Past the pool, over the whole Livermore Valley|
|Scarlett exploring our cabin.|
|Watching the campfire|
|Meeting the chickens at the all-organic camp garden|
|Adventures for mommy and daddy, too! We got to do climbing and a zipline during one of the parent sessions.|
During the weekend, the camp staff and volunteers take the kids, both patients and siblings, to play while parents share their stories and share information, resources and support. Meeting other parents (and their kids) is an invaluable part of these camps. There are many issues we are dealing with for Scarlett that only others with similar issues can understand. And, since Scarlett is the youngest in the group, we get a lot more insight into the issues that kids who have been through similar treatments are facing as they get older.
It is emotionally draining, but also gives us a new energy to find new resources and solutions to the problems that we are all struggling with. The children we see now, including Scarlett, are part of a trailblazing group; they are some of the first to survive these tumors, and there is no structure to support them yet. The treatments our kids are going through, and especially what was done 10-15 years ago, has life-long effects; very few of the kids are able to lead independent adult lives. It is up to parents like those we meet at camp, whose kids are becoming some of the first adult survivors of childhood brain cancer, to lay the groundwork for what we hope will continue to be a supportive community for kids who have undergone such drastic treatments.
In a few weeks, we will go to a different camp, and then in September, we will get to visit Jack's Camp again. We feel very grateful that these camps offer these weekends to us - some of our only chances to get away - for minimal cost to us. We look forward to them all year, and are so glad that camp season has arrived!