Camp Smile-A-Mile's Mission:
Camp Smile-A-Mile’s (Camp SAM) mission is to provide year round challenging, unforgettable recreational and educational experiences for young cancer patients, their families as well as young adult survivors from Alabama at no cost to the families. Our purpose is to provide these patients, families and survivors with avenues for fellowship, to help them cope with their disease, and to prepare them for life after cancer.
About Camp Smile-A-Mile:
Camp Smile-A-Mile started 31 years ago as one, week-long camp session that welcomed children of all ages who were battling cancer. Over the past three decades, Camp SAM has evolved into much more than a summer camp. We are a year round program that serves children and their families from the moment of diagnosis and through the years beyond treatment. We even have bereavement programming that reaches families who have lost a child to cancer. We are the only pediatric oncology program in Alabama to offer such extensive programming for the entire family.
•Camp SAM provides seven camp sessions for more than 400 participants each summer at Children’s Harbor -
On Therapy Family Camp, Sibling Camp, Youth Weeklong Camp, Teen Weeklong Camp, Junior/Senior Camp, Young Adult Retreat and Off Therapy Family Camp.
•Camp SAM takes programming onto the Hematology/Oncology Floor and Clinic at Children’s of Alabama for children too sick to leave the hospital through our Hospital Outreach Program (HOP). In 2015, HOP served more than 200 participants with more than 700 visits.
•Camp SAM offers year round programming for siblings and
other family members who are affected by pediatric cancer.
•Camp SAM offers bereavement programming for families who have lost a child to cancer. Remember Their Smiles is a day of therapeutic activities that honor children who have passed. We want to continue helping these families through their grief and for them to know their child will never be forgotten at Camp SAM.
•Camp SAM offers “Beyond Camp” for adult survivors of pediatric cancer. Beyond Camp is divided into two groups – Young Adults and Sustainers. The Young Adult portion is for survivors ages 19-25. They will attend a young adult retreat each year and multiple Camp SAM activities. The Sustainers are 25+. We provide these survivors with avenues for fellowship and opportunities to develop their leadership skills. It is our goal that the Sustainers will give back to Camp SAM and become leaders in their communities.
•Camp SAM offers multiple activities for families to come together for fellowship and support throughout the year.
•Camp SAM provides funding each year for a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellow in training with the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. This funding is offered exclusively for the training of Post-Graduate Fellows in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.
•Camp SAM provides more than 25 scholarships each year to campers attending university, college or vocational schools.