Smiles and Laughter Abound
The Danville Ronald McDonald House is the proud sponsor of Camp Dost. The program was conceived to give pediatric cancer patients the opportunity to enjoy a summer camp experience without worrying about medical care. Perhaps more important to children, there are no worries about “fitting in.” At Camp Dost, they have more in common with their peers than any place else.
The camp experience has always proved to be a rich and rewarding one that leads to fond memories and unexpected life lessons. In the nurturing environment of Camp Dost, campers realize a new-found independence through personal growth. They learn to compromise, appreciate team work and become a self-advocate. Most importantly, they come to understand that they are not alone in their battle with cancer. Camp Dost provides a system of support like no other. It begins with the fact that each patient is permitted to invite one sibling to attend camp, add to that the volunteer counselors, many of whom are former campers themselves, and a medical staff of familiar faces. Either by personal or professional experience, all Camp Dost staff know the road our campers travel in dealing with cancer.
Camp Dost offers the excitement of an array of activities: rope climbing, swimming, arts & crafts, music, biking, fishing etc. What makes it different from most summer camps is a fully staffed facility known as the “Med Shed.” Centrally located on the campgrounds, the Med Shed is staffed by a Pediatric Oncology Physician or Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse. An added resource is the many professionals who serve as volunteer counselors: pediatric physicians, pediatric psychologists, child life specialists, social workers and others.
Full Week Campers
Full Week Campers are 5 to 18 years old who have been diagnosed with cancer. Opening events begin on a Sunday and closing ceremonies are on the following Friday.
Twenty-Four Hour Campers
Twenty Four Campers are 4-5 years old who have cancer and have not yet attended one year of school. These young campers have a chance to experience Camp without being away from home for an entire week.
Siblings of patient campers can share in the experience of Camp Dost. One sibling per camper may be invited and must register for the same program—full week or 24-hour. Meeting other children in the same family circumstance can be comforting as well as enlightening.
For more information about Camp Dost, contact our Program Assistant / Camp Dost Coordinator at (570) 214.2889