Camp in a word is FUN. However, the fun that the camp experience provides for kids with cancer isn’t just fun and games, it plays an important role in their health and healing. Good old-fashioned fun has all kinds of health benefits associated with it, here are just a few!
Fun Reduces Stress
Stress is a part of life but even more so when faced with cancer. Engaging in enjoyable activities is an especially powerful tool in helping cancer patients cope with stress. “Laughter is the best medicine” rings true by helping to decrease the stress hormone (Cortisol) and increase the happy hormone (Serotonin).
Fun Boosts Energy
The stress and pain associated with illness are both mentally and physically draining. Having fun and playing are connected with increased energy. Doing camp activities with others that understand what they have been through can help the kids feel like themselves again.
Fun Fosters Connections
Social connection is a fundamental human need. Laughing and having adventures give campers the opportunity to build connections and forge lifelong friendships.
So, when you help fund a water balloon fight, an evening around the campfire with s’mores, or a pizza party, know that the FUN you are making possible is making a real difference for families facing cancer. Camp eventually ends for the season and the experience gradually fades into special memories, but the benefits of having fun can last a lifetime. When YOU help make the fun happen, you are providing a child and their family the chance to get away and experience the hope, happiness, and healing power of the outdoors at a Care Camp.
“Camp is a fun, meaningful opportunity to escape from everyday worries and create joy-filled memories with new friends,” said Karen McAndrew, Care Camps executive director. “We know from research that children with cancer and their families who attend camp have improved quality of life and other important positive outcomes.”