The enCourage Kids Foundation will be hosting Virtual Camp EKF for the kids this weekend – Saturday, August 22, Sunday, August 23 and next Saturday. August 29 and Sunday, August 30. The COVID-19 pandemic impeded their ability to continue executing some of their programs in-person. But their benefits remain vital. They’re offering virtual camp in lieu of their traditional camp weekend. By adapting to the new online world, their families can still experience reduced feelings of stress and loneliness.
Camp boxes will be hand delivered to some of the families by their camp sponsor LOG-ON Printing and enCourage Kids President & CEO Michele Hall Duncan. 100 families will participate in the virtual camp that will be filled with fun activities such as Arts & Crafts Sessions, BBQ Community Lunch, Campfire Sing-along, Parent Support Group, S’mores at Home, Teen Movie Night and Trivia & Bingo Sessions.
“Ever since the pandemic hit, our focus has been to step in and help the communities that are inundated, providing the support and critical resources they uniquely need, when they need it,” stated Hall during a sit down interview. “For years, we have listened to the needs of Child Life Specialists across the country. We hear them now when they say things around them are changing at a rapid pace. What they need today may look completely different than what they need tomorrow or from what they needed two months ago. They are trained to be flexible, adaptable, and creative. So are we. For months we have been working closely with hospitals across the country to respond to immediate needs and preemptively prepare for what is inevitably to come.”
More than ever these kids need the guidance.
“The response overall was very positive,” Hall continued. “One reaction that stands out in particular was from a mom with two children in our program. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December and since then has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Imagine managing chemotherapy with all that comes with having two young kids with medical challenges of their own—during a pandemic. When she learned about Virtual Camp, she was relieved to have these activities to provide for her kids, and she’s also looking forward to joining the support groups that are scheduled for parents and caregivers. We also have an enCourage Kid who is starting another round of chemotherapy this week and because of camp’s virtual format will be able to participate while in the hospital undergoing treatment.”
The struggles for children don’t end at discharge from the hospital. The stress of illness can take a toll on the whole family. The enCourage Kids Family Outings offer opportunities for children with chronic, serious, or life-threatening illness to escape their daily challenges and cope with the social and emotional aspects of their lives.
enCourage Kids Foundation helps humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the child life community. enCourage Kids Foundation envisions a world where every child—regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey—experiences joy, hope, resilience, and healing. www.encourage-kids.org