Family Camp Goodtimes
Family Camp Goodtimes was piloted by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2017. It provides families who have a more recent experience with childhood cancer with an opportunity for peer support and personal growth in a safe and medically supported environment. It is an extension of our Camp Goodtimes, which has been bringing children living with cancer together since 1988.
Family Camp Goodtimes is located at Camp Rotary on Grand Lake and is open to children up to age 18 and their families. It is designed for children who may not be able to participate in our week-long Camp Goodtimes because they are uncomfortable being away from their families. There are activities for the entire family to enjoy, as well as opportunities for respite, support, meeting new friends and making new memories.
The first Family Camp Goodtimes in 2017 hosted seven children with cancer between the ages of six and 13, along with their siblings and parents, totaling 28 people. This year’s camp had all seven families return, along with 5 new families, totaling 47 campers. It is wonderful to see this new program grow. However, since there are only 10 cabins, our capacity is limited to 10 families. As a result, in 2019, we will host two weekends to accommodate the number of families expected to return and new families we hope to have join us.
The Canadian Cancer Society has received funding for Family Camp Goodtimes from KOA Care Camps for the past two years ($4,500 per year), and that funding is expected to continue on an annual basis. In addition to the KOA funding, we sought additional funding for 2018 and received a gift from JD Irving, Limited for $15K.
The Canadian Cancer Society will spend $20K-$30K annually if funds are available to provide two weekends and enhance the experience for New Brunswick families. Next year, the first Family Camp Goodtimes will take place August 23-25, and the second will run September 20-22.
We are requesting $675 from each New Brunswick Rotary Club for a total of $20,250, over a 5-year period in support of our Family Camp Goodtimes. We will also be seeking additional funding from other sources for a Legacy Fund to ensure both camps continue to serve New Brunswick children who are living with cancer.