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New Fall Support Programs for Families

We are tremendously proud to announce a series of new online programs for campers and their families, all offered free of charge.

From bi-weekly support groups and meetups to a virtual conference dedicated to parents and caregivers, we have created these programs in response to the urgent and unique needs families caring for children with serious illnesses face during this health care crisis. One of our guiding values as an organization is to reach high, and go beyond.

These programs allow us all to find new opportunities to grow together, supporting one another with respect and kindness along the way.

Parent/Caregiver Support Groups: These virtual support groups are open to any parent or caregiver of a child with a serious medical diagnosis. Gatherings are small and meet under the guidance of a trained facilitator. Visit our Camp-At-Home website to register today.

Camper Meetups: An extension of our summer camp-at-home programming, these virtual gatherings give campers and their siblings a chance to connect regularly with their friends. Invitations are exclusively for children and teens who have previously attended a North Star Reach summer or family camp. Visit our Camp-At-Home website to register today.

Family Care Conference: This two-day virtual conference, held Oct. 7 & 8, will offer caregivers a thoughtfully-crafted program of presentations by leading medical and mental health professionals. The program will also include breakout sessions, small group workshops, and fun activities such as social mixers and music events, giving attendees a chance for informal conversation and connection. All are welcome. For the program schedule and to register, visit our Care Conference Page.

Resilience During Uncertain Times: Summer Season Highlights

In the past seven weeks, 311 children have attended one of our virtual summer camp sessions. They have laughed and danced around virtual campfires, connected with camp friends in small Zoom breakout rooms, played games of Pictionary, Catchphrase, shared stories, drawings, photos from no-hands spaghetti dinners, and much more.

As a mom of a first-time camper wrote, “Our family is still under quarantine, which can be pretty lonely, especially when most people we know are back to being able to visit with each other and participate in outside activities. This week of connecting with other transplant kids through Zoom and activities sent to us by this amazing camp was such a blessing.”

To our extraordinary donors, volunteers, and camper families: Thank you for your resilience during these unprecedented times and for finding ways to sustain your support for our mission of providing life-changing camp experiences for children with serious health challenges, and their family members, no matter where camp happens.

Follow the link below to see some great photos and slideshows from our summer sessions. You can also watch a terrific behind-the-scene look at our first virtual summer camp session (with thanks to Bob Garypie, U-M Transplant Center). A special thanks to Abercrombie & Fitch, the official apparel sponsor of SeriousFun Children’s Network (SFCN) camps, for donating this year’s terrific camp T-shirts. We are also grateful to Newman’s Own Foundation for its generous grant in support of this season, as well as for hundreds of donated jars of Newman’s Own Spaghetti sauce. Delivered in our Camper Care Packages, the sauce was enjoyed during many fun-filled no-hands spaghetti dinners in camper homes across Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Behind-the-Scenes at Transplant (Michitanki) Camp  (Video)

Transplant (Michitanki) Camp (June 16-19, 2020) | Slideshow

Solstice Camp (June 23-26, 2020) | All-Camp Photo

Cardiology Camp (June 30-July 3, 2020) | Slideshow

Epilepsy (Camp Discovery) Camp (July 14-17, 2020) | Slideshow

Sickle Cell/Hematology/Pain Management Camp (July 21-24, 2020) | All-Camp “One Word” Photo

Sibling Camp (July 28-31, 2020) | Slideshow