Camp Happy Days
Camp Happy Days
>> so many traditions have been canceled, including summer camp.
But camp happy days is finding a way to hold the favorite, despite covid-19.
And joining us now, sandy johnson, the director of camp happy days, and the camp director, and good to see i both.
>> thank you.
>> i love your background.
>> that background is wonderful.
And it's really special.
It's a tradition we have at camp, where each of the children write a message or a wish finish the future, and they write messages to people that they have loved and lost.
And it hangs, and as the wind blows, it sends wishes and prayers out to the community.
>> that's so beautiful.
And such a beautiful sentiment.
Typically, on an annual basis, how many children come to camp happy days?
>> we usually have up to 275, and that's for, you know, strictly our signature summer camp, which always falls over the 4th of july, and for 32 years, we have had that special camp, and this year, it will be different.
The really wonderful thing about it is that we're actually going to be able to serve more children, and that's going to be really special.
>> well, i'm looking forward to hearing more about how you're changing things up, but ian, maybe you can remind everybody what camp happy days is, just a priceless experience for children.
>> what we were able to do is serve the entire state of south carolina, and we provide for children with cancer and their families, and we're fortunate to be all over the place and have volunteers from all over the country, and like cindy said, our main flagship is that camp week, but we have family weekends, teen weekends, and we call our kids our doodle bugs, so our doodle bug days throughout the year, so we can connect.
>> during this time, especially with people who have a sup pressed immune system, it's important for emnot to intermingle with each other.
So now you're doing something a little bit different.
And i want to hear about this virtual camp experience that you have planned.
>> one thing that i want to mention, one of the really special things that we have been able to do during this crisis is offer those families crisis resources and funds to help them through what they're going through.
So that has been -- people have been great at supporting us to offer them help with present and you know, utilities and things like that.
So that has been really great.
And you're right, our children are especially vulnerable.
Many of them are in isolation, just because of what they're going through, but when you pair that with a disease that is so easy to catch, it puts them at such risk for anyone in their family leaving the home and coming back in.
So we're planning something really special around that, and ian will tell you all about it.
It's so exciting.
>> television about the camp in a box.
What is this?
>> what we have figured out, our kids love catch and where it takes place but one thing we try to stress, camp is not about the place, it's about the people.
And we're fortunate to have a great group of volunteers and families that come every year, and we don't want to leave them during the week we always spend together.
So what we have done, the staff has made this box, and it's going to go out to different programs we have, like climbing wall, boating, arts and crafts, and glitz and glam.
And we're going to take everything that we love about camp and put it in a box, and have the same connection that we have at catch.
And during that week, we have a multitude of zoom videos and calls, where they can have time with their councilors.
That's what's so special about camp.
We have one thing that involves us all and one thing that really connects everyone and we want to make sure that the connection is not lost between the councilors and the campers, it's going to be so week.
And the great thing, we'll be able to use this in the future to help kids too sick to attend camp that can't come normally that are in the hospital.
We unfortunately lost a camper a week ago, and now we'll have a way for them to get to camp, whether they can make it year in or year out.
>> the deadline to enter to be a camper is today.
And so we'll direct everybody to your website.
The dates are the 3rd to the 28th, and you still need volunteers.
>> we really need volunteers to help us pack the camp within boxes.
Within the boxes, we'll have activities, games, recipes and items to cook.
Our team building, which is sort of the heart of camp, will also have items in there that the kids can use around the house to create that team building feel.
So each of those boxes will be packed, they will be age appropriate.
They will be specific for that child.
>> they're tailor-made, that's wonderful.
And i want to thank you so much for joining us, and unfortunately, we have run out of time.
But i want to directed everybody to your website to sign up before it's too late.
And i want everybody to stay