Camp Oasis

Camp Oasis

By: Julia Ament-Cox

Summer is upon us and traditionally kids have so many opportunities to participate in summer camps. Those of us with kids with inflammatory bowl diseases this becomes a challenge of great proportions. If you have never heard of CCFA”s Camp Oasis, you should take a minute and GOOGLE it.  This is a place (there are 12 locations nationwide.) where our kids can be a kid-Learn, Play and Heal!

Camp Oasis was established over ten years ago, and is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) for its standards of operation accredits Camp Oasis. This week long Co-Ed residential camp community provides IBD children with an enriching, safe and supportive experience.

Camp Oasis has an outstanding medical care staff. Each camp has physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who are all volunteers. This 24-hour medical team ensures that each camper follows their prescribed medical regimen that has been provided to the staff by each child’s personal doctor from back home.

Camp Oasis programs are designed to bring success and to appeal to the interests to a variety of children. Each day’s program is designed to give children many activities to participate in as well as down time to be able to develop their interpersonal skills. Campers sleep in air-conditioned cabins shared by campers of their own gender.

Camp Oasis has an extremely dedicated staff. Each volunteer staff member is screened carefully and trained by CCFA. Most of the counselors have inflammatory bowl disease, related to someone who has IBD, or is just dedicated to be part of this wonderful program. Several of the counselors have been campers themselves and have returned as counselors in order to give back to others the same experience they had as campers.

Leaders in Training Program
Campers that attend are children entering grades 2-10 in the fall. Leaders in Training (LIT) are young adults entering grades 11-12. The LIT program is a special leadership development program for Camp Oasis’ oldest teenagers. It runs for the duration of each session and combines the enjoyment of camp life with age-appropriate responsibilities and leadership-building activities.

There is a year of required absence from LIT to Volunteer.
Volunteers must be a minimum age of 19. These volunteers’ mentor and guide campers during their daily activities for the duration of the week.

Application Process
By going to this site one can locate a camp your participating CCFA chapter participates in.

Once on this page, you locate your camp follow the red highlighted directions. As you begin this process you will be prompted to print pages, fill in areas on pages and get medical signatures for different areas.

This process is lengthy. If your child sees several different doctors please keep in mind some care centers take up to a week to fill out camp forms. Do NOT delay in this process. A form must be signed by your child’s Dr for all meds, medical procedures and for your child’s overall physical health. Once you have completed this portion you mail in the entire package to CCFA for their medical team to review.

Notifications by email will begin to arrive. CCFA is great keeping you informed of where your application process is. No monies are collected until you are notified that you have been accepted as a patient.

Once you are notified that you are set to go as a camper (YEAH, this is very exciting) an electronic parent and camper guide will be sent. This is full of extremely helpful information. Take the time to review it before you pack. There is a page that tells you what to pack and specific items your child will need to participate on specialty themed events. Some of the items make take you a few trips to different stores to find. This again is something you should not wait till the last minute.

You will receive one more medical update form prior to your arrival. If any of your child’s medical or medication has been changed it has to be noted on here and signed off by your Dr. This much be brought with you. If not, the camp can turn you away. If you were driving out of state, this would be awful for sure.

Camp Oasis is a wonderful opportunity for your child and will help make lifelong friends and memories.

Scholarship Opportunities

This year EmpoweredByKids sponsored 11 IBD kids to Camp Oasis through funding provided by our supporters.  We are certain that each of these 11 children will have stories to tell for years to come from their experiences. We plan to sponsor kids each year to this camp.  Please contact us to request a scholarship for next year.

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