Each summer, our kids and families look forward to our weekend away at Camp Pontiac. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enCourage Kid hosted our annual camp weekend virtually. Our families’ safety and providing them with joy and laughter is our top priority. Since they couldn’t take the trip to upstate NY, we decided to bring camp to them!
Our children coping with chronic and serious illness are more vulnerable to infection and have had to be extra careful during the pandemic. Being able to do very little beyond their homes, they have come to feel incredibly isolated, worried, bored, and anxious. But while enjoying virtual camp activities, our kids were able to step out of their everyday challenges and experience a break from their stress and heightened isolation. They felt a sense of normalcy and had fun playing and bonding with their friends.
41 enCourage Kids families received Camp in Boxes filled with crafts materials, games, crafts, and s’mores kits to get them ready for hours of fun! As our kids participated in a ton of engaging activities across the last weekends of August, the weight of fear and loneliness turned into laughter, smiles, and fun. There were over 30 hours of live content provided, and they enjoyed Restorative Yoga; Family Trivia, Mindfulness and Meditation, a Magic Show, a Donuteers Entrepreneur Workshop, an Ice Cream Party, a Live Concert from Zaxai of season 24 of The Voice, and Sing and S’mores by the Campfire! Our kids, their siblings, and parents also enjoy tons of crafts sessions such as Birdhouse Making, Photo Frame Decorating, Robot Making, Paint by Numbers, a Graphic Art Tutorial, Tie-Dye T-shirts, Friendship Bracelet Making, Camp Hat Decorating, and Slime Making. For parents, we held happy hours, coffee hours, and support groups to connect with others who understand their experiences with children with medical challenges.
A special thank you to The Donut Pub, Zaxai & The Band Date Night, LOG-ON, and Amazing Savings who helped to make Virtual Camp EKF possible. We’d like to also extend our deepest appreciation for our volunteers, Angelae, Casey, Catherine, Eleanor, Jody, Katie, Melanie, Mike, Nicolette, Shanti, Shreya, Travis, Walter, and Zoey.
Watch the recap of Virtual Camp EKF!