LaGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – A week-long summer camp for children with or surviving Cancer began Sunday.
On Sunday, 113 kids were throwing their worries away at Camp Potawatomi in LaGrange County. Campers between ages 7-18 can brought their siblings and will camp out until June 22.
Some of the campers have cancer, but it's not stopping them from doing what they "wanna" do.
“It's pretty cool. Everyone likes it here, they get away from all their parents can have vacations,” said John Fiig, 17. “I just like to have fun and have a good time.”
At camp Watcha-Wanna-Do, kids can simply be a kid and not worry about the complications of having a disease. Susan Schenkel, Development Director for the camp, says 21 year ago, children with cancer didn’t experience summer camp, so their organization made it possible.
“They do regular camp activities. They go swimming, they go hiking, they can do archery and we’ll have hot air balloon rides,” said Schenkel. “By providing this camp with the nurses and the pediatric oncologists they can come to camp and regular kid, their parents don't have to worry,” said Schenkel.
When 8-year-old Henry Spoelhof attended camp last year, he had just finished chemo treatments a week before and had no hair.
“He was pretty much at the lowest point of his treatment so he was not very high energy,” said Paul Spoelhof, Henry’s father.
This year, 43 pounds and a head full of bright red hair later, Henry is back in action.
“It’s really fun and you get to do a lot of stuff that you can’t do at home,” said Henry.
“[It’s] Just one more example of how precious life is. To see him come back, to see him be excited, to see some friends and he's looking forward to seeing some counselors again, it just means everything.”
For 10-year-old Aiden Radcliffe and his family, Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do means reconnecting with old friends.
“I like the mud hike and swimming and seeing all my friends,” said Aiden.
A lot of the staff here are the same nurses and staff that worked with Aiden when he was going through his chemo treatments and going through that cancer journey,” said Tim Radcliffe, Aiden’s father. “So it's great to come here to camp, drop the boys off, re-connect and stay engaged with those people who were so instrumental in Aiden's treatment and recovery and well-being.”
Other than the friendships that last a lifetime, Schenkel says the best thing is the camp is free. Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1991.
“It's free to the campers and their siblings and it all takes place because of contributions from local corporations and individuals,” said Schenkel.
What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "Your2Cents” comment.
© Copyright 2013 A Granite Broadcasting Station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.