We were able to send our daughter to Camp Quality last year for the first time.. From the beginning, I knew that this was a great place!! She had the time of her life!! She can't wait to go back next year... but this time she told me that she wants to "stay the whole summer!! " Thank you again!
I am writing on behalf of my 8-year old daughter. When we first picked her up from camp, her enthusiasm of everything she did that week made me speechless. This program and all of the volunteers had made a special week for my daughter that she still talks about today. The pictures that were taken that week was so awsome to look at and should how much fun she had. I marveled at the amount of different opportunities she was given. How many camps can offer a child to go horseback riding, fishing, swimming, crafts, dancing, archery, ride up in a hot air balloon, zip line, and playing in inflatables. All in the same week! Hats off the the camp coordinators and volunteers on giving my daughter a week to remember! As for myself, I did wonder every day what she was doing (what parent would not). Although, I did not benefit from the emails because I was not at home and did not have internet where I was, I knew she would be in capable hands just from my first visit. This gave me a week to relax without worrying whether I remembered to give my daughter her medicine.
I’m a typical seventeen years old. I have lots of friends, I play sports, and I try my best in school. Most people don’t realize that when I was about half of my age that I am now I became ill with a life threatening disease. My name is Sarah Hoffman and when I was eight years old I was diagnosed with a cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).When you’re eight years old you don’t know much about cancer. All I knew is that I could die. So through the long months of chemo, losing hair, and not having enough energy to do much I started getting my strength back. Things were looking good. I was in remission, I was getting peach fuzz on my head, and I was having fun. My mom and I still had to go to the hospital for check ups, but while we were there my mom started talked to another boy’s mom (she’s a typical mom). Now this mom started talking to my mom about a cancer camp that her son will be going to over the summer. This camp is called Camp Quality. I never even knew there was such a thing. My mom told me about it, and I, being the outgoing third grader I was, couldn’t say no. I was so excited. I had only been to one other camp before and I had a blast. August came around and I made it to camp. I was nine my first year and was eager to get started on the fun. A normal routine day at camp is everyone gets up, and we go to the flag raising. We have breakfast and when we’re done we get to go have fun. We do pretty much what we want. Camp Quality has all kinds of activities for all the campers from age four to eighteen can do. My first year I mostly did archery. They have ceramics, arts and crafts, horse back riding, frog catching, the occasional rock climbing, and on two of the days we have baseball games with former Detroit Tiger players. After all the fun, it is lunch time. Then we all take a rest around one o’clock. Not only is it a state law, but because all of us campers have so much fun, we like to have a nap. After our hour of relaxation we are energized and ready to go play again. Pretty much all of those same activities are provided for us. We go have dinner then there is a camp activity set up. Each night is different, but we always have at least two camp fires. Then it’s time for a night time snack and we all go to bed. On one night we have a dance, and it is a blast, and the night before we have a teen night. The teens either go bowling for putt-putt golfing. So I’ve listed all this great things Camp Quality has in store for us so you’re probably wondering who watches us. Well, each camper is assigned at least one companion. The camp staff tries to pair up similar personalities so the campers can have the time of their life. You also might think, “Hey, wait. These are cancer kids. Don’t they need medicine?” Yes. Some of us “cancer kids” need to take medicine. Camp Quality gets professionally trained nurses and doctors to volunteer at camp so we can all have fun and stay healthy at the same time. All my years I’ve had great times, but don’t just think Camp Quality is just a week long event during the summer. Camp Quality works hard all year round. Not only does the staff work to keep ideas going to get ready for camp, but they also plan weekend events about every other month. There is a trip to Kalahari Water Park in September and we all have fun. We have a reunion in November to get our “year books” and see our friends. They tell us the theme for next year also. Yes we have themes and they get better and better every year. January there is a teen winter camp where the teens go to Boyne Mountain to ski, and then in February there is a family winter weekend when a camper’s entire family goes to Challenge Mountain to ski. Camp Quality has another weekend event for families in May where we go to CMU where we just hang out. Our last event before August for out week long camp is in June. It is the teen camp at Beaver Island. They year I turned thirteen and went to Beaver Island is the year I met most of my friends from camp. I connect so much with them. We always have a great time together, and we have an inseparable bond that no one can understand. We look at life differently than most teenagers do. We know life has value, and we appreciate all the little things that come into our lives. Because we find friends that totally understand us we also find our sole mate or at least I did. I met my boyfriend two and a half years ago. He has only been going to camp for two years, but those two years he loved. We’ve been dating for a year and a half to this day. Unfortunately something terrible happened this summer. Doctors discovered his brain tumor came back. Now I don’t know exactly what is going to happen to him, but at one point the doctors said he’s not going to make it. Lately they have been more positive. I know him, and I know he’s not ready to go. He wants to come back to camp next year and be a companion to some little boy. He has so much fun at camp. All of our camp friends, he, and I always have so much fun when we are together. There is no telling what is going to happen next. No matter what happens though, I will always be apart of this CQ family. I love them all dearly, and this is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.I was also able to share this exprecience with a close friend of mine who i knew before she got sick. Last summer one of my best friends had a brain tumor and the first thing she thought of when she found out is that she wanted to come to camp with me. I talk about it all the time and she knows how much fun i have that i couldnt wait to share the experience with her. she had a blast and we all had a great time. This family is the one that will stick with me through thick and thin. They are the best.
I am 8 years old with cancer! This was my first ever camp experience.... I was scared BUT my mom was a nervous wreck!!! She was afraid that I should NOT go anywhere while I was sick. Then she realized that this was a SPECIAL CAMP where all the kids had cancer and the staff was comprised of SPECIAL, LOVING, CARING and TRAINED adults who all knew about cancer. Camp was awesome! We had flag raising ceremonies, free gifts and stuffed animals,t-shirts, great food, fishing, horse back riding, baseball with the Detroit Tiger players, ziplines, Remax hot air ballon rides, special theme events, camp fire singing and s'mores, canoeing, swimming, craft sessions, a bungee race AND MUCH MORE.... I made many new friends and realized that a Camp Quality week allowed me to forget that I had cancer! Who cares about an illness when all you can think of is.... FUN, FUN, FUN!!! Go Camp Quality!!! OK, now I am home again, back to reality. But wait... .... I can deal with the reality of life with cancer because I get to go to Camp Quality again in just 310 days from today!!!! Thank you to the entire staff at Camp Quality. Love, Devin Statetzny
This was our daughter's second year at Camp Quality. It is by far the best thing that has happened for her. She was diagnosed with melanoma a year and a half ago and has successfully completed treatment. At camp she is just one of the kids and not a "special case" as she sometimes feels at school. The companions are extraordinary and the camp is run so every kid can do as much as they possibly can. We also do several special outings organized by the camp throughout the year. I wish I could offer some "constructive criticism", but quite honestly it is the best run organization I have ever been involved with.
My son has been attending Camp Quality for 4 years, since he was first diagnosed with cancer. Every year exeeds his expectations and ensures fun and friendship. Camp Quality does such a great job of letting the kids just be kids and have fun. At camp he is able to be just a kid with no judgement from anyone. He has formed great friendships and bonds with other campers, companions, and staff. The day camp is over with he starts looking forward to the next year!
My son attends Camp Quality and it truly is an amazing organization. He has made some incredible friends here and they are the most kind hearted people you will ever ecounter. They are so good to the kids and really take their time with them. He will always love going there, and truly appreciates the experiences he has at camp.
My experience at CQ has been AWSOME!! I get to go and have fun and not have to worry about my cancer and limitations. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and my camp companion is the best!!
CQ is for children who are going through cancer treatment, children who are cancer survivors and siblings. These children lose their childhood. Their wks, months and years are at best filled with endless pokes, medication, separation (from school, siblings and friends) and isolation. A cancer diagnosis has such a tragic effect on the whole family unit. My 7 yr old son who is a leukemia survivor and my 5 yr old son went to CQ for the 1st time this summer. Families who go thru this lose all stability in this world; often times financial as well. This camp is FREE! The kids were a little hesitant to go... as they have both had severe separation issues as my oldest son was hospitalized 237 days in 2006 and the younger one was often left with caregiviers :( Trust me these parents DESPERATELY need a break!!! and that is what they get!! There are trained nurses at the camp; and the most amazing part is EVERY camper gets a 1:1 companion for the entire wk!!! :) they try to match each child's interests with that of their companion (18 & up, trained, & background check) This was one of the most amazing things i've ever been involved with!!! Truly!!! The kids had such a blast and got to forget about everything for just a few days and be kids again!!! They had everything you could imagine there for them! Round the clock activities and crafts... water sports and fun, pony rides, police, fire, helicopters, motorcycles, camp fires & silly songs, talent contest, birdhouse making, rocket making and launching... i really could go on & on & on!! The camp sent updates and pics nightly to tell us how our kids were doing and what they were up to! When we pick the kids up they have all the parents stay to watch a slideshow of the wk and have a picnic. It was absolutely magical to see the life, joy and careless laughter of these children so beaten and maimed by this deadly disease. My precious 5 year old who has been in a shell since his brother was diagnosed 3 years ago had a blue & green mohawk when i came to pick him up!! He was grinning from ear to ear!! He had found joy! and confidence and happiness!!! i was soo proud that he had conquered his fear of separation from his parents and thrived in this loving environment! Words cannot be used to explain the love and gratitude in my heart for the people who put this together; "Letting Kids With Cancer Be Kids Again!" is their motto, and i believe they are achieving this goal 110%!!! Even in writing this i get teared up thinking about the kids... some have only wks or months left... others may go on to live a fairly healthy life. But this is a bright light of HOPE and LOVE in the most dark dungeon you can imagine. CQ also has events yr round (4 i believe) to keep the campers & companions in touch with each other! Last year we went to a snow wknd they had and the boys loved going down the hill on the sled. This fall they have a water wknd in a hotel water park. The boys are beyond thrilled!!! And the best part is it is FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the kids have literally lost a couple yrs of their lives with this monster called cancer... and these little outtings truly bring joy and peace into a family that has just not been able to experience these things in a long time. GOD BLESS CAMP QUALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and everyone who is a part of this organization!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are kids that were put on a waiting list to go to camp this year that were denied :( For all of the heartbreak and pain these kids go through my hope and prayer is that the funding is there to allow each child the opportunity to just be a kid again... if only for 1 wk a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I started going to camp quality in 2001 and haven't missed a beat since. It helped me realize that I wasn't the only kid that had cancer and helped me be comfortable with taking my hat off and exposing my bald head. The friends I have met at camp understand the word cancer and how it feels to actually have it. The campers are able to forget about their cancer for one week with all the activities that are put together for them. Anywhere from the ropes course, arts and crafts, rocket building, bounce houses, the slip n' slide, to the baseball games. Camp Quality isn't something you can completely understand until you actually become part of the "CQ family". It's a place where everyone is loved and cared for individually, and that's why I think it's the best.