July 13-15, 2012
Camp Luther, Three Lakes, WI
Camp Angel is a camp for young people ages 8-12 affected by cancer through loves ones (parent, sibling or grandparent) or who have experienced the loss of a loved one through cancer. Camp Angel is presented through the co-partnership of Angel On My Shoulder and Marshfield Clinic.
Mid afternoon on Friday, a Lamer’s Coach Bus arrived at camp with fifty-one campers and four wonderful volunteer chaperones aboard. The campers traveled in a well-supervised and comfortable setting from designated pick-up points throughout Wisconsin. Parents/Guardians were asked to see that their child got to and from the established bus stop locations.
The campers were enthusiastically greeted by our outstanding volunteer counselors and staff. Camp began with a brief orientation and introductions along with icebreaker activities before the campers headed to their accommodations, unpacked and settled-in before supper. It was obvious from the time they got off the bus that they were already making many new friends.
Following the traditional Friday night pizza feast we were prepared and excited to welcome our very special annual visitors – the Northern Lights Harley Riders on their awesome cycles. However, Mother Nature had something else in mind for us and an unexpected summer storm changed our plans. Due to the heavy rain, only one Harley rider was able to make it through to the camp. After the rain subsided, the brave lone rider provided us with an up close and personal look at his amazing cycle. The campers were very excited to have the opportunity to sit on his Harley and took many pictures to capture the moment.
After bidding him a grateful farewell and a welcome return of better weather, it was off to an exciting scavenger hunt where each group of campers and their counselors got to explore the campsite in search of their list of treasures with prizes awarded to all for their efforts.
The camper groups (Bunnies, Foxes, Bears and Wolves-based on gender and ages) and their counselors then headed off to their unique weekend “residences”. Their fun sleeping quarters were a Fort for the Bears, Pioneer Village (covered wagons) for our Bunnies, Tower Village for the Wolves and Tree Houses for the Foxes. Fire pits located at each site made a perfect campfire setting for campers and counselors to congregate and bond, roast marshmallows and eat smores’.
Saturday was a fun-filled day with activities galore that made this weekend retreat memorable and created special friendships for our campers.
“Wet” was the word with opportunities for swimming, water craft rides (a camper favorite), water bikes, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, craft projects and more. A very special attraction was an intriguing pirate ship adventure down the beautiful Chain O’ Lakes on the Strauss Family’s famous pirate ship. Captain Steve and Steve-O of Pirates Hideaway in Eagle River graciously and generously hosted us and made this an exciting excursion for everyone. The campers totally enjoyed this one of a kind opportunity to be a “pirate” for a day!! Shiver me timbers . . . ARRH!!!!
On Saturday night, our very own Angel DJ, Dan Scafaro, provided uplifting music for the campers to dance to or just listen to the beat. There were snacks and refreshments too which added to the festivities. After a day filled with adventure, the campers were off to their campsites along with their counselors for campfires, games and eventually “sleep”.
On Sunday morning, it was time to pack-up, fill up on a great breakfast, exchange goodbyes (for now) and board the bus for the trip home with new friends and many happy Camp Angel memories. And as tradition would have it, all the counselors and volunteers lined up to send them off with waving arms and big smiles as another wonderful Camp Angel weekend concluded.
Lolly Rose and Donna Stone (Co-Directors, Camp Angel)