North Star Reach offers life-changing camp experiences for children with serious health challenges and their families.
Unfortunately, each year there are many children who are unable to attend regular summer camp due to serious medical conditions. A needs assessment conducted in 2008 confirmed that there are more than 75,000 children in the Great Lakes Region (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada) with serious and life-threatening illnesses (cardiology, gastroenterology, blood disorders, cancer, burns, organ transplants, ventilator dependence) that will be eligible to attend North Star Reach. Currently, less than 10% of these children have an opportunity to attend summer camp and for some no programming exists at all. A health center staffed by nurses, physicians and other medical professionals will allow children with complex medical needs to come to camp, often for the first time.
Campers at North Star Reach will experience all of the fun, joy and independence that all children receive at camp and appreciate a rare sense of normalcy. Campers will leave with improved self-esteem, restored childhood and a sense of accomplishment at attempting challenges in an environment that provides physical, emotional and medical support and supervision. Campers, staff and volunteers are all impacted in a positive way by the camp experience. Additionally, parents will have a much-needed opportunity for respite and many report that their children return from camp with a new sense of autonomy and independence.