Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18

by Dutch Childhood Cancer Organisation /Vereniging Kinderkanker Nederland
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18
Yearly camps for 80 children with cancer age 6-18

These are challenging times. We still have to live with consequences of the pandemic. The COVID-19 measurements demanded to postpone our camp of November 2021. Still it is unclear when we can safely organise it. All the childred who registred for the camp will be updated in time, to renew their registration.

What we could do was to organise a meeting on a Saturday-afternoon with a limited amount of children, and again we saw the importance of face-to-face contact. Peer support is really helpful in order to cope with the situation, be it living with cancer, living after cancer, living with a sibling with cancer or living as sibing of child who passed away.
 
We are looking forward to plan a real life camp again. Of course we will update you on the progress. Thanks for your support!

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Over time, due to Covid-19, it was really hard to plan a camp voor children with cancer. We did a lot of digital camp-meetings, which were lots of fun.

 

Digital camp-meeting:

The childred who joined, were happy to talk to people who understand what they are going through. It can be hard for them to find understandig under their close friends and families. Therefore the camps, even though they were digital, are super helpful and important.

One of the siblings that joined on the digital camp, told us that at first she was afraid to join. She was afraid everything would be super sad and that she would be sadder after the meeting. She was very happy she still joined, because the meeting gave her so much support. And she felt less lonely.

 

A real life camp:

We are so happy that we can plan a real life camp again. Already children are signing up and telling us how helpful the camps are. They recognise stuf and feel supported. We are looking forward to come together, to laugh together, to cry together, to meet new people and to support eachother.

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The camps couldn't continue the way they would normally continue. This is all due to the corona-crisis. The children between the age of 6 and 18 years old, still wanted to see eachother though. When you have cancer or when you had cancer, it can be really dificult to talk with 'normal' children your age. 'Normal' childred didn't experience what the childred with cancer experienced. Therefore, camps are really important, also during de corona-crisis.

To make talking to eachother during the corona-crisis possible, we organized digital camps. During these digital moments, the childred talked about a lot of different things:

Children obviously introduced themselves to eachother. A safe (digital) environment was created.

Conversations were about the corona-crisis. What did it do to the children to be at home that much and for such a long time, but also that other people had to stay home that much? When children have cancer, it is possible that they have to stay inside a lot as well. Maybe they're used to staying inside. They're not used to other people staying inside, just like themselves. What does that do to you?

They talked about what they miss and what bothers them.

And they looked at thing from the bright side. Are there things that you like from this period? 

The future was also a topic of conversation. The childred talked about what the first thing they would do or buy when the corona-crisis is over?

Lastly they talked about the things they all do in their spare time. They gave eachother advices and learned about new hobbies. 

 

It is important to keep in touch. Especially during crazy times as ilness and pandemics. We hope the camps are in real life again soon. And untill now, the digital ways are good as well.

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Unfortunately, the physical camps of the VOKK cannot continue.We can, however, keep in touch with each other through a fun online camp meeting!These online camp meetings take place once in a while and everyone can participate simply from home.

During these digital meetings there is time to get to know each other.We also reflect on how everyone feels and how everybody doing.The corona crisis is going on for a long time and we are talking about what this does to you.It turns out that it is nice to be able to talk about this.Furthermore, the young people tell what is bothering them or what they miss.In addition, there is attention for the positive things.After all, there are also things that we like in these crazy times.That should not be forgotten.

Everyone shares how they are doing during this period.Tips are shared about leisure activities!We also look to the future.We're talking about what to do or buy first when the corona crisis is over.At the end, everyone seems to have enjoyed talking to each other, even though it is digitally now.The camps therefore remain important, even in this different setting.

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The purpose of the camp is to allow children, young adults and young adults to share experiences and feelings, to take on new challenges and to help them in their processing. The feeling of not being alone is already a great support for many. The camps are also aimed at allowing participants to experience that they are part of society, just like everyone else.

There are relaxing and serious activities and plenty of room for conversation and processing. We create a safe environment in which this can happen. Healthy peers generally have no idea what it actually means when you are confronted with cancer in yourself or your sibling as a child or young person. That is why mutual contact is so important, half a word is often enough.

The start of each weekend is an introductory game; a lot of 'masks' are already being discarded there. The workshops and activities are aimed at processing and relaxation. Processing is addressed in creative activities with different themes such as emotions, friendships and work. But also in sports activities and workshops that push boundaries; think of children and young people with a permanent disability, poor condition or social anxiety. The youngest children also have a fun outing, such as to an animal park or a playground.
There is relaxation in the form of fun activities such as a quiz, campfire, party evening, a disco. But also in the form of walks and outdoor activities where you can talk in a relaxed atmosphere.
Every weekend has a reminder moment for children who have passed away. Not all children have to participate.

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Organization Information

Dutch Childhood Cancer Organisation /Vereniging Kinderkanker Nederland

Location: De Bilt, Utrecht - Netherlands
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kinderkanker_nl
Project Leader:
Tessa van Gastel
Nieuwegein, Utrecht Netherlands
$11,942 raised of $15,000 goal
 
187 donations
$3,058 to go
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