The Rainbow Connection Philosophy: Children with cancer or blood disorders are normal children with special medical needs. Since they are normal, they are entitled to enjoy the same experiences as their well peers (i.e. summer camp).
Goal of The Rainbow Connection: To provide children with cancer or blood disorders and their brothers and sisters a place to re-discover the self-esteem and confidence that is so often lost during the course of treatment for illness.
Staff Workshop – Saturday June 25, 2016
Camp dates for 2016: June 26, 2016 - Friday July 1, 2016
Camp Location: Camp for All in Burton, Texas. Camp for All is a facility built especially for individuals with special needs.
Camp Activities: Fishing, swimming, canoeing, archery, horseback riding, arts and crafts, challenge course, sports, all-camp dance, campfires, music, biking, nature course, nightly activities, awards and many other activities.
Staff: Volunteer staff made up of employees and students from The University of Texas Medical Branch and the surrounding community. Staff members must be at least 21 years of age, applicants are interviewed by the director and must undergo a background check prior to selection. This volunteer staff is augmented by the activity counselors from Camp for All. The camper-to-counselor ratio is approximately 5:1.
Medical supervision: A physician and a nurse are available at camp 24 hours a day. Arrangements are made with a local pediatrician's office for any needed blood work or for emergencies. Since the emphasis at camp is on wellness, the camp clinic takes a low profile. Whenever possible, chemotherapy is postponed until after camp, or is given at a time when it will not interfere with the camper's favorite activities.
Camp cost: While the cost of a camper is approximately $600.00/camper, our families are required to pay a $10.00 registration fee and dependent on their financial need, the family may request a “campership” in the amount of $40.00 to pay the remaining fees. We feel that no one should be denied the camp experience due to financial constraints.
Source of Funding: The majority of funding comes from donations by grant funding, individual and civic groups, and businesses in the Galveston county community.
Camp Sponsors: The Rainbow Connection is sponsored by the Childhood Cancer Connection, a non-profit organization dedicated to the supporting children and families diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders. The camp is endorsed (but not funded) by the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at University of Texas Medical Branch Children's Hospital in Galveston.
Origins/History: In the spring of 1984, a group of health professionals who worked with children with cancer at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston got together to explore the possibility of organizing a summer camp experience as a way to provide additional psycho social support for those children. A proposal was written and physicians from the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology endorsed the idea. The task force gathered information from other camps to learn more about planning and implementing a successful summer camp program. In January 1985, after a newspaper article was published about the dream of The Rainbow Connection, the camp received its very first donation and the dream began to gain substance. Finally on June 30, 1985, the dream became a reality as The Rainbow Connection opened its doors and took 19 young children with cancer to summer camp for the very first time. Since that summer, The Rainbow Connection has continued to provide exciting summer camp experiences to children with cancer. In 1991, after studies showed that siblings would also benefit from the experience, the camp was opened to siblings. After 30+ years the camp hosts 75-80 patients and their siblings for the week long experience.