What Should the Voters Know?:
For over 30 years, Camp John Marc has inspired confidence for life by serving children with chronic illnesses and physical challenges, and their families. In March of 2020 when all traditional in-person camps were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an online program known as “CAMP IS MORE THAN A PLACE” was created to connect campers with the spirit and values of Camp John Marc. This whimsical, educational, and engaging virtual program became a reality due to the efforts of the Dallas-Fort Worth pediatric partners including hospital systems, partner camps, alumni staff, and volunteer counselors. The traditions and magic of camp were brought to campers via computer, tablet, phone, and hospital television networks. Campers participated in live and recorded activities inspired by traditional camp activities. From creating a teddy bear zipline to the erupting volcanoes of weird science, campers were able to live the magic of camp at home in a safe manner. No part of camp was left behind; videos of “behind the scenes” of the kitchen and maintenance areas to a front row seat of the horses’ visit with the vet! Additionally, campers wrote letters to the horses, sang-a-long to campfire songs, and participated in Medical Education taught by the medical and psychosocial teams. During live events, campers danced, played games, and learned new skills alongside their siblings and family members.
When it could be done so safely, a socially distant events brought camp to life. From the sound booth of the drive-in theater, carloads of campers yelled BINGO and giggled and laughed along to songs. In the shadow of the medical center, we extended a pool noodle high-five hand and cheered as carloads of campers smiled their way through the camp fun. Even though we were not able to gather in-person at camp, we were able to celebrate the spirit of camp in some innovative and unique ways!
To date, over 9,000 campers, families, and friends of Camp John Marc participated in the CAMP IS MORE THAN A PLACE program.