I had a great week volunteering as a companion at Camp Quality. The week flew by and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Taking work off for the week wasn't the easiest, but it was worth it.
I have been a companion for the past three years and it is the most rewarding week of my year. I look forward to spending a week one on one with my camper. We have fun doing activities like crafts, zip lines and riding horses. My camper and I talk throughout the year by email so we can't keep in touch.
I got involved with this organization by simply answering a newspaper ad. I always loved going away to camp when I was younger, and there was an ad in the paper looking for volunteers to be camp counselors for one week during the summer. I looked the organization up online and found out that I would be a one-on-one companion for a child that has or has had cancer. I thought this would be a fun week for me and a great way to reach out to a child. Little did I know, these children reached out to me. Every child that came to camp changed my life. To see these kids laughing and just "being kids" after everything they have gone through was great. They taught me to fully cherish life and to be thankful for all of the positive things. They taught me that if you concentrate on the hardships in life, you won't really live. I hope I have been able to give these kids a little of what they have given me. Camp Quality is the best organization I have ever been apart of. This camp proves to the kids that they are not alone (many times you will catch kids comparing scars or treatments) and it lets them get away from it all and have a great time. The kids can prove to themselves that they can do anything. One little girl that had cancer in her leg climbed a rock wall. One little girl that went blind from her cancer realized that she could do anything her peers can. What this camp gives to kids is priceless. They gain self-confidence, they don't feel "different" because they don't have hair, and they are all able to use each other and their companions as a support group.
The 5 days at Camp Quality was an experience I will not forget. Make no mistake, it is a challenge to spend 24hrs. a day with a young person and keep them focused on all the activities and their medical requirements. However, seeing them laughing, running, playing jokes on you, and every once in a while opening up about their feelings made it all worthwhile. The courage of these kids is truly something to aspire to. I'm sincerely grateful for the time I spent at Camp Quality.
2009 was my second time volunteering at Camp Quality. To me, Camp Quality is something to look forward to. Campers get to look forward to this. Sometimes this is the only really big and awesome thing they get to do all year. Lifelong friendships are formed and every child is able to relate and have someone else that has shared their story. They come to camp and can be a normal, active kid. The slogan is 100 percent true. ("Letting kids with cancer be kids again") The week we spend with the campers is inspirational. As a companion, I feel as I get more from camp sometimes than a camper does. They build you up and inspire you as an adult, when its the campanion who is supposed to be doing that! The kids are amazing, and I will always remember every single one. They made an impact on me to want to keep coming and keep helping. Besides the inspirational factor, camp is also a blast! They get to do all sorts of awesome activities that keep you busy from sun up to after sun down! As having a crafy camper, the craft ladies are amazing. They have so many great ideas to keep us busy and so many choices of supplies! They are very helpful. Camp Quality is something I would like to always be involved with. It's a way to let a child who has gone through it all, be a kid again.
I am 67 years of age and 2009 was my first volunteer experience at Camp Quality on Walloon Lake, MI. I have known about Camp Quality and have wanted to be with their summer camp for many years, but was not able to participate until this year. I was a "floater" which gave me the ability to get to know every aspect of the camp. I filled in wherever necessary and whenever necessary. I loved doing this. (ie: companion fill in, running errands, cart driver, kitchen, nurses area etc.) I have volunteered with some of their year round activities also. The people are marvelous to work with and I am looking forward to next year.
I have been a volunteer for Camp Quality Michigan for 13 years and I look forward to spending time with my camp family any chance I get. I can honestly say that my time at camp has been life changing. Camp has taught me what really matters in life.. not the quantity of years that we are alive, but the QUALITY of life we LIVE. Camp Quality gives kids dealing with cancer a chance to be kids.. a chance to experience things they would otherwise miss out on because of their illness. It is truly a privilege to volunteer for this organization, and as long as my life allows, I will continue this commitment. They are my second family, need I say more? :)
Wow! What an experience to be able to be a worker at " Camp Quality ". I thought that maybe I could be of help in a small way to these kids. However they helped me to be a stronger person just by watching these kids to encourage each other. Some of the activites were very difficult for anyone to complete but watching these kids with cancer reaching the TOP was very rewarding to me and probably would surprise the Doctors and Parents of the cancer. I will be back next year to offer any help that is needed. Grandpa Ted
I have been the camp nurse for the last 3 years and the experience has been AMAZING! It is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. There are no words to describe the satisfaction you receive knowing that you have made even a small impact in someones life. The kids have given me more than I could ever give them. YOU SHOULD TRY IT TOO!!
Camp Quality was an amazing, rewarding experience that I will never forget and plan to volunteer again in the future. It was not only extremely well organized but the leaders were very helpful in making sure everything went smooth.