Angel On My Shoulder – Summer Camps Help Kids Affected By Cancer
By Patrick Pharris, Guest Contributor
“I wanted to meet others who knew my situation and could relate to what was going on in my life,” explained Nicole.
Nicole is one of millions of children who every day of their lives have to deal with having cancer… or having a family member who has cancer. Luckily, she found a place where others are going through the same thing.
“I found that it was easy to talk about my situation because the others knew what I was talking about. It also helped in my grieving process after my mom passed away.”
That place is called Angel On My Shoulder. It’s a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that has established a number of cost-free camps, both summer and year-round camps, that were designed to address the needs of young people whose lives have been affected by cancer through the illness or passing of a close family member.
Angel On My Shoulder weekend camps are funded through donations. so that everyone who wants to attend may do so. They provide kids with an opportunity to meet others like themselves in a well-supervised atmosphere of understanding.
“When a family is affected by cancer, the focus has to be on the patient. Too often though there are children who are also experiencing loss or confusion,” said Lolly Rose, founder of Angel On My Shoulder. “That’s where Angel On My Shoulder comes in. We’re helping these kids feel good and have fun with others they can relate to; to see their faces light up again is an amazing feeling.”
ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER – CAMPS FOR KIDS AFFECTED BY CANCER
Angel On My Shoulder offers five different weekend camps for kids who have a close family member who is battling cancer:
- Camp Angel is for kids ages 7-12
- Camp Teen Angel is for teens ages 13-15
- Camp Angel Adventures is for older teens ages 16-18
- Camp Angel Adventures Extreme is for 16-18 year olds who want to experience more extreme activities
- Camp Hozhoni is a family camp for families with a child 18 or younger who has cancer.
The purpose of the camps is to give kids the chance to meet other kids who are in the same situation and give them the opportunity to participate in activities tailored to their age group that will provide many happy memories.
“I have had some unforgettable experiences at camp” says Kim, another camper like Nicole. “During those weekends the people did not just become friends, they became part of my family. I would personally like to thank everyone who helps run this amazing camp. It changes lives!”
Summer camps include swimming, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Winter camps feature snowshoeing, ice fishing, dog-sledding and sleigh rides.
Angel On My Shoulder also sponsors two retreats for adults: Angel Care and Healing Angels. Angel Care is for Cancer Caregivers and was created with the express purpose of giving cancer caregivers a respite from the often times grueling work of caring for a loved one with cancer. The retreats are held several times a year and provide activities such as yoga and discussion sessions to help these selfless individuals give back to themselves. Healing Angels is for cancer survivors who are in remission. The intent is to provide them with a weekend of mental, physical and spiritual healing that will contribute to their growing sense of well-being.
“I am constantly inspired by the people I meet through Angel On My Shoulder from donors and volunteers to those families whose lives we touch,” added Rose. “This community is quick to lend a hand and help one another and our organization is very thankful for that.”
People like Alyssa, who has attended three AOMS camps: “Meeting new people at camp is so wonderful because you don't just get to spend the weekend with such cool people, but you also get these new friends to help you through anything.”
To learn more about volunteering at Angel On My Shoulder, apply online here: Angel On My Shoulder Volunteering.
To donate to Angel On My Shoulder, go to this page: Angel On My Shoulder Donate.
Editor's Note: What a remarkable organization. We are grateful for the opportunity to tell you about Angel On My Shoulder. Please consider volunteering or donating. And, please share this story to anyone who might need it. And, consider following AOMS on Facebook and Twitter.
Patrick Pharris is an award-winning freelance writer and reporter and has covered a wide range of topics during the past 30 years. His work has been published in more than 200 newspapers, magazines and textbooks. He has also appeared as a television show host and feature news reporter. Having lost family members to cancer, Patrick is a supporter of Angel of My Shoulder.