UKANDU Family Camp 2023 will be July 16 - 22!
UKANDU Family Camp is a chance for families experiencing childhood or adolescent cancer to come and have an outrageously fun summer camp experience! Family Camp, held at Camp Magruder near Rockaway Beach at the Oregon Coast, is open to people of all ages and families of all shapes and sizes. This is a great opportunity for kids who are too young for Camp UKANDU or parents who are excited to experience the 'UKANDU Spirit' with their kids!
UKANDU Family Camp was another logical program extension of the 'hope and joy' that Camp UKANDU has delivered for more than three decades. Acknowledging the fact that too many children will die before age 8, and realizing the benefits of allowing adults the same opportunity to meet their peers who share a cancer journey, UKANDU Family Camp offers the entire family safe and supportive camping experiences. Parents benefit from having a community of peers who understand their unique challenges as much as their children do. UKANDU Family Camp offers special outdoor adventure programming for the entire family. There are no age restrictions and each member of the family can attend – including all siblings. Sharing our “You Can Do!” spirit with an entire family unit offers growth opportunities for each member of the family. We say Camp UKANDU is a place “where kids can just be kids.’ Offering parents a respite for just a few hours a day, in an environment where they know the special needs of their children will be met, offers a place “for parents to just be human.”
Hear what our families have to say
“Cancer is isolating by itself. All of a sudden you have a child who [has] little to no immune system meaning that you have to be very [careful] with where you go and who you allow around you. Take that isolation and multiply it by a pandemic! In the hospital, our kiddos couldn't see each other and only 1 parent was allowed to stay. That means, through practically a whole year of chemotherapy, one parent was in the hospital while one was at home. Not to mention that, in the hospital, you had to stay in your room and were not able to socialize and build the relationships needed to help you through. You begin to lose your family identity. You begin to lose yourself.
I am so thankful for our social worker, Bryan Gish. He offered a huge list of resources and support. He told us about UKANDU and all the fun he has had there over the years. However, because of the pandemic, they were not having a traditional camp. It was to be a virtual family camp. Of course, we had to be a part of it! We wanted to meet other families who had been affected by childhood cancer, build those relationships and try to find our family identity again, even if it was through a computer screen. Let me tell you, it was far more than I had ever hoped it would be. We were being silly, as a family. We were doing crafts, as a family. We were even exercising, as a family. We made friends, we laughed, we had fun, we even cried a little (Thanks, Muddy!) Most importantly, at the end of the week, we felt a little more like ourselves. It was a week to forget about cancer, the pandemic, and all that comes along with it. It was a week to make us a stronger family, together!”