Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant
Summer Camp: One Camper's Journey

Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant

Summer Camp: One Camper's Journey

Kelly is a seasoned camper at the Children's Oncology Services, Inc.'s "One Step At A Time" summer camp. She answers a few questions to help others learn more about what it is like to attend a summer camp program for children and teens with cancer.

What Camp Did You Attend?

Camp One Step. This year will be the third time. I attended the One-Week Summer Camp format offered by the camp.

Where is the Camp Held?

The camp is located at Aurora College in the Lake Geneva, WI area.

How Did You Hear About the Camp?

My oncologist recommended the camp to me.

What Made You Chose This Camp?

I chose the One Step At a Time Summer Camp because it offered the overnight
experience and a full week away.

Did You Know Anyone Else Who Was Going to the Same Camp?

Before I left, I only knew one person going to camp. 

What Were You Most Looking Forward to About Camp?

I was very much looking forward to the people that I would meet who could relate to what I was going through, because they were going through the same thing. I was excited and nervous!

Can You Describe What a 'Typical Day' Was Like?

A typical day at One Step At A Time Camp looks like this:

  • Breakfast 
  • 10am-noon - First Activity
  • Lunch
  • 1-3pm - Second Activity
  • Afternoon Free Time
  • Dinner
  • Campfires
  • 10-11pm - Lights out

You get to choose the activities that you want to participate in when you register. All activities can be tailored to a camper's personal needs, (if you have a port, etc.) At the end of the week, campers get all dressed-up for the Dance!

What Was Your Favorite Part of Camp?

My favorite part of camp is that everyone is very accepting of who everyone is, and I felt comfortable enough to ‘let my guard down' and have fun!

Kelly recalled a fond memory of how she created canoes out of cardboard along with other campers and together they raced each other to see which ‘boat' would ‘sink' first. She also enjoyed the "outdoor" experience at camp, noting that the camp was full of hills and by the end of the week campers left with new friendships and toned muscles after all of the activities and movement around the camp.

Do You Still Keep in Touch with the New Friends You Met?


Kelly met and made over fifty new friends that share the same experiences. She still keeps in touch with many of them today.

Would Your Recommend Camp to Other Kids?

Yes! I recommend going to camp. It is a good way to get away from the medical world and take a break, with the reassurance that staff is on hand if you have a medical need.

What is the One Thing You Would Like Other Kids to Know About Camp?

It is a great way to make new friends and start friendships with campers going through the same thing, and also make friends with the medical staff.