Happiness Is Camping

Happiness Is Camping
Happiness Is Camping
Happiness Is Camping
Happiness Is Camping
Happiness Is Camping
  • Contest: Program or Activity
  • Name of Entry: Counselor and Mentorship Program (CAMP)
  • What Should the Voters Know?: In 2017, researchers from the University of Illinois discovered that children with cancer, especially those with brain tumors, are up to 5 times less likely to find a job than their peers without cancer and up to 15 times less likely to attend college than their own siblings. The Counselor and Mentorship Program (CAMP) is available to children with cancer and siblings, age 16. In 2019, CAMP took place over four weeklong sessions and hosted 11 participants. CAMP used four components to combat the findings of the University of Illinois: STEM workshops, life skills seminars, college prep sessions, and workforce training.
    • STEM Workshops- CAMPers learned how to 3D print, built robots, designed spaghetti bridges, programmed a computer application with a Google engineer, and learned how scientists are researching alternatives to chemotherapy with two scientists from Celgene.
    • Life Skills Seminars- To prepare for life on their own and to learn any skills that participants might have missed while being treated for cancer, CAMPers attended life skills seminars. They learned how to change a car tire, jump a car battery, do a load of laundry, iron, cook, tie a tie, and administer first aid. They also met with a series of guest speakers that included a Retired US Navy SEAL Captain, an architect who is currently designing the Google Headquarters, and an Olympic javelinist.
    • College Prep Sessions- To reduce the barriers to attending college that many children with cancer face, CAMPers participated in college prep sessions. CAMPers visited Rutgers University, explored different majors, and researched various colleges. Participants also spoke with an admissions counselor, wrote their college essays, and prepared for the SATs with a SAT prep instructor.
    • Workforce Training- In order to strengthen their resumes and to learn the expectations of employers, CAMPers served as “Counselors-In-Training” for small periods each day. Each CAMPer was assigned to a younger cabin and assisted counselors during mealtime, walked campers to the infirmary, prepared campers for bed, and served as roles models.
  • Why Should You Vote for Me?: CAMP’s main goal is to generate our campers’ interest in higher education. In exit surveys, 100% of participants said that they are more interested in pursuing higher education after the program. Prior to the program, only 3/11 participants had previous experience with 3D printing and 2/11 had previous experience building robots.
    Three CAMPers established a mentor relationship with members of our guest speaker series. Additionally, participants’ comfort level with each life skill increased significantly following the program.
    Prior to CAMP, only 4 of the 11 participants had previous work experience. Following the program, each participant left with real working experience to add to their resume, as well as the ability to request a letter of recommendation from the Camp Director. 3 CAMP graduates will serve as junior counselors next summer.
  • Contact Name: : Ryan Campbell
  • Contact Phone: 908-362-6733