Camp for All, a special needs summer camp in Brenham, brought the camp experience to patients at Dell Children’s Medical Center this week. The program, called Camp for All 2U, included activities such as canoeing, archery, relay races, tea parties, scavenger hunts and a luau.
The camp activities were also open to the siblings of patients and were provided at no cost to the children’s families, thanks to supporters of Dell Children’s and Camp for All.
“Children get hope, self-esteem and a chance to get out of the hospital room,” says Pat Sorrells, president and CEO of Camp for All. “Hospitals tell us this program lets the kids get back into life. One little girl today said it was the first time she’d been outside in a very long time.”
Sorrells went on to say the siblings of patients get to enjoy Camp for All 2U, as well. “Siblings need the emotional healing, sometimes more than the patients, because so much focus is put on the patients.”
Camp for All 2U began visiting hospitals in 2014. This year, it will bring its programming to five hospitals and one bereavement organization, utilizing more than 300 volunteers.
Out in Brenham, more than 65 nonprofits — including such organizations as the Sickle Cell Association, CPals for families of children with cerebral palsy and 22Q for families of children with a chromosomal disorder — collaborate with Camp for All to send their members to the barrier-free summer camp. On its 206-acre campus halfway between Austin and Houston, Camp for All features wider sidewalks to accommodate wheelchairs, a sloping-entrance pool, ramps to make horseback riding easier and cabins and bathrooms designed for special needs.