To know Camp Wapiyapi is to love Camp Wapiyapi.
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Camp Wapiyapi is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization that offers hope and support to families affected by childhood cancer. Camp Wapiyapi hosts free summer camps to provide a respite for children diagnosed with cancer and their families. Camp Wapiyapi was established in 1998 by University of Colorado medical students.
The founders were dedicated to the healing and well-being of pediatric oncology patients and their siblings and they envisioned an ‘escape’ from cancer far from the hospital. Their belief was that every child deserves an unforgettable camp experience.
Statistics from the National Cancer Institute reveal that approximately 1,700 children in Colorado are living with cancer and nearly 5,000 are affected when also considering their siblings. With so many families struggling with physical and mental impairment as a result of a childhood cancer diagnosis, it is clear that this is an unmet community need.
We strive try to meet this goal by implementing these four objectives:
- Provide each child, regardless of disability, with an outstanding summer camp experience.
- Boost the child’s outlook and self-confidence by allowing him/her to participate in activities designed to give him/her a chance to excel, and to feel like an important part of the team.
- Provide these children with the opportunity to take on and thrive in leadership roles within the camp organization.
- Foster strong family dynamics by inviting siblings to attend camp and allowing parents to have a week-long respite for themselves.
During our almost 20 years, Camp Wapiyapi summer camps and retreats have hosted thousands of children in a safe and nurturing environment. These programs remind kids and their families that they do not face these challenges alone.
Camp Wapiyapi has a unique one-on-one camper to counselor (we call them “companions”) ratio. Even siblings have their own companion. Additionally, a 100%-volunteer medical staff ensures that there is one doctor and two nurses on site 24/7 throughout camp. In 2016, nearly 360 volunteers contributed 15,000 hours to support Camp Wapiyapi.
We rely solely on donations to fund our programs. Since 1998, Wapiyapi has served more than 1,600 children and their families at no cost to families. Thanks to generous community support, we have grown from serving just a handful of children to 236 patients and their siblings in 2016. Camp Wapiyapi’s organizational goal is to serve 240 children including patients and their siblings.
Camp Wapiyapi has a strong partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado and families come from across the Rocky Mountain region to attend camp.
Please consider making a donation to Camp Wapiyapi to help us reach this goal. These children are precious and their families need our help.