Y’all might have seen me babbling on about the afghans we are making for children with cancer in the project called Share A Square. I thought you might want to hear about Camp Quality from someone other than me, so I asked Chris Jennings, the director of the Arkansas Camp Quality to write you a note.
If you are feeling chilly, here’s a message that will warm your heart.
To The Share A Square Volunteers:
We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and work to create such
wonderful gifts for our kids. Camp Quality is an organization for children with cancer and their families. It doesn’t matter what stage they are in as long as they are physically able and their doctor signs off on their attendance. In Arkansas, we are still small enough that we are also able to allow siblings to attend camp. While our first priority is to cancer patients/survivors, we love being able to bring in all of the children and give each of them equal treatment and equal fun. This also allows us to give the parents a break for a week.
We have a Camp Organizing Committee (COC) that plans the activities for the week of camp and the other events that occur throughout the year. Each year the COC decides on a theme for the week of camp. We plan activities, crafts and decorations to go along with that theme. We are always looking for new ideas for any of those areas. We have support staff to help in several capacities: cooks, lifeguards, Registered nurses, crafters, clean up, dorm parents, supply runners, etc.
One concept that I think is extremely important to the success of our camp is our companions. Most camps have a set of counselors that are in charge of groups of children. Instead of this type of volunteer, we have companions. A companion serves in a “big brother, big sister” type capacity. They are paired up one on one with the children and stay with them 24/7 for the week. This, along with keeping in touch with their campers year round, allows the companions to develop deep and long lasting friendships with the children.
In addition to the week of summer camp, we have a reunion weekend for the whole family and the volunteers as well. We also have a leadership weekend for the teenagers and Christmas parties for the families and volunteers. We are always looking for more events to have for the kids which will allow our kids to participate.
All of these events and activities are provided to the families at no cost. We rely on individuals, businesses and especially civic organizations to provide not only money, but many provide a meal or an activity at camp. Each of you that are volunteering to help with this project are helping to provide a very special gift and they will greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Lately, I’ve been sitting in front of the fire stitching those afghans together. My local volunteer, Valeria, and I have seven more afghans to show you later this month (you can see pictures of the first twenty afghans we have made).
A smart woman would stack those more than 6,000 squares you have sent against the north wall of the house to keep out the cold! Just think how well insulated my house will be after I receive the next 6,000. Yes, we need that many more crocheted squares, and you can help. Just visit the Share A Square 2010 FAQ, pull out that extra yarn and a crochet hook, and start stitching.