On a sunny Friday afternoon, kids at Camp Rap-A-Hope are busy swimming, riding horses, practicing archery, or doing arts and crafts.
It’s the picturesque summer camp experience, aside from the fact that every camper has cancer or at some point has battled cancer during their lives.
“We actually had a camper this year say the best part of cancer is coming to camp,” Executive Director Melissa McNichol recalled. “Instead of hearing the beeps of hospital machines, they’re hearing crickets. They’re hearing singing and laughter. It’s just life-changing for them.”
Camp Counselor Zach Schneider says they choose not to dwell on the challenges the kids will face when they return home and choose to focus on having a good time.
“I think the memories they make here will help them get through the rest of the year,” Schneider said.
This is the 32nd year for the camp that’s free to campers thanks to generous donations. The campers will be reunited with their parents on Saturday.