Campers & Families: We Are Here for You
Despite making the difficult decision in March to cease our onsite spring and summer camp programs, our goals—connecting and supporting our camper families, inspiring hope through storytelling and positive experiences—are as vital as ever. Below you will find information about the new ways we are currently delivering innovative virtual programming and important services and resources to care for our camper families.
Resources for Our Camper Families
New Podcast: As part of our new Family Support Resource Initiative to build a vibrant community providing hope and improved well-being to parents, guardians and caregivers of seriously ill children, we have launched a weekly podcast, hosted by a camper mom and our camping director. Because we know families caring for children with complex medical needs are especially vulnerable at a time when many primary care providers and pediatric specialists are being called to the Covid-19 frontlines, this weekly talk show supports families by creating a space where they can share resources, coping skills, and navigate the unprecedented challenges together. New episodes are released every Thursday and you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Spring Family “Camp-at-Home” Weekend Sessions: For camper families who registered for our spring family camp sessions, we are hosting two “camp-at-home” experiences for families caring for children with complex medical needs, including those with congenital care disorders, a palliative care diagnosis, and other chronic illnesses. Sessions will be held April 24-26 and May 1-3. Along with receiving VIP Care Packages, live online events have been designed to build a community where families can feel a sense of belonging and share their stories with one another. To support families who are unable connect online, our team will make “wellness calls” to help ease the sense of isolation and stress they are facing during this healthcare crisis.
If you are a family caring for a child with a serious health challenge and would like information about a future “camp-at-home” weekend session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that our virtual summer programming plans are underway, and we will share details soon.
Wellness Resources from North Star Reach Medical Director Dr. Becky Patrias: “I am writing to you on behalf of your whole camp medical team. ALL of us—your home doctors and nurses, your camp doctors and nurses, your home and camp child life staff, your WHOLE medical team—wish you and your family health and peace during this time of coronavirus and having to stay at home. Know that you are deeply loved and thought of often. We all wish we could be with each of you in person. Until then, I have provided some information about the coronavirus and how to stay healthy.”
- Coping with the Coronavirus Crisis : Resources for families (see article at Child Mind Institute)
- Positive Parenting & COVID-19: 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home (see article on healthychildren.org)
- Stress & Coping (see article on CDC.org)
On Parenting in a pandemic (see article on Psychology Today site)
Be sure to sign up for our Monthly E-Newsletter “Trail Mix” (click here to subscribe) to stay informed about our new virtual summer programs, digital fundraising events, and more. If you haven’t connected with our social channels, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Our weekly storytelling series connect all corners of our camp family and are designed to inspire connectedness, resilience and hope.
Announcement: 2020 Summer “Camp-at-Home” Schedule
While camp sessions will not be held in person, we will deliver “at-home” camp experiences for our summer campers. Click this link to visit our Summer “Camp-at-Home” registration page.
Fall Family Camp
The 2020 fall family camp schedule will be released at a later date.
Note: While all “General Session” Family Camp programs are open to families with a child who has any serious medical diagnosis, we will serve similar medical populations as we have in the past for families looking to connect with others on a similar medical journey, including Cardiology; Neuro-Oncology & Palliative Care; Sickle Cell/Hematology/Pain Management; Transplant; Epilepsy; Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan or families with a camper diagnosed with a physical or developmental challenge.
Changing the Lives of Children
Our camp programs provide life-changing experiences for children with serious health challenges and their families, free of charge. The heart of our program is summer sleepaway camp. Offered June through August, we welcome children ages 7–17 to our beautiful fully accessible camp in Pinckney, Michigan.
With traditional outdoor camp activities like archery, boating, campfires, fishing, nature and swimming, our campers bond with others who have shared the experience of serious illness and learn they are capable of much more than they ever thought possible.
We also offer weekend Family Camp programming in the spring and the fall for families with children ages 0–17. Aside from the fun, our Family Camp programs are designed to build relationships with and receive support from other families who understand what it means to raise children with serious health challenges. In between all the fun, there’s also the eating and sleeping part. As we like to say: Eat. Sleep. Camp. All in a medically-sound environment, as detailed below.