Summer is just around the corner and while both kids and parents anxiously await a much-needed vacation, there are a few others who need something more…a break from the heart-wrenching challenges they face every day as a result of a family member who is battling, or who may have lost the battle, with cancer.
Being a mom, there are things I constantly worry about. I worry about something happening to my kids daily, I worry about something happening to me or Alex all the time and hate to ever imagine my kids living a life without me or their dad or ever having to know cancer on a personal level. Unfortunately, there are children, every day, who learn about cancer at a very personal level, and at those times, I am happy to know there are places like Angel on My Shoulder available for them to enjoy to help ease that burden.
Angel On My Shoulder is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that has established a number of cost-free camps, both summer and year-round, 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 (parent, sibling, or grandparent).
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 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.
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.
You can learn more about Angel on My Shoulder by watching the video below.
If you would like to learn more about Angel on My Shoulder and the volunteer opportunities available, please check out their website.