Camp Quality is an Australian charity dealing with issues affecting children with cancer and their families. The charity is convinced that building strong resilience in the lives of each child that is living with cancer as well as their family in Australia is vital. Camp Quality creates a positive community for the affected families through education and fun therapy. Camp Quality believes that "laughter is the best medicine".
In Australia each year, approximately 10,000 children below 13 are diagnosed as having cancer, undergoing treatment for cancer, receiving palliative care or in remission. Across the country, sitting in the some classrooms are an additional 10,000 kids who are dealing with their dad or mums' cancer. Going by these national estimates, daily, in Australia, 27 children below age 13 will get deeply affected by the positive diagnosis of a parent having cancer.
To date in Australia, there is no charity of a national stature that is focused on giving support to these children. Camp Quality became the 1st Australian charity that supports children below 13 having a parent living with the dreaded cancer.
The initial Camp Quality was set up in 1983 by Vera Entwistle in Sydney. Vera aimed to offer children that were having cancer as well as their families with a network of support. She selected the organization name after being informed by a paediatric oncologist that nobody could do anything regarding the quantity of life, although we all could do something concerning the quality. The very first camp was convened in Vision Valley, New South Wales, attended by 38 children with the support of 38 volunteers.
Later, Entwistle introduced Camp Quality to a number of countries, as well as her home country, the US. The first camp in the USA was convened in Stewartsville, Missouri during the summer of 1986, having 43 campers. Currently, Camp Quality USA is hosting 15 summer camp programs across12 states.
Camp Quality recognized in 1988 that the impacts of childhood cancer were extensive and began to implement an education program towards supporting the wider society. The Camp Quality Puppets got introduced being a free educational program targeting primary school kids. The advantages to the community got felt instantly and in the year 1989 McDonald's became a sponsor of the program. For 19 years, now, the McDonald's Camp Quality Puppets have been running and reaching nearly 250,000 primary school kids every year.
In the year, 2001 Camp Quality underwent a comprehensive re-branding procedure to symbolize the happiness and optimism that Camp Quality is offering for children as well as their families. The tag-line that reads "Laughter is the Best Medicine" and the jovial face of a Giggle have become so well recognized across Australia being the symbol for laughter, fun and support for kids who are living with cancer as well as their families.
The Need Identification
At present Camp Quality is supporting in excess of 5,000 families yearly and has got 13 offices, covering every territory and state in Australia. Responding to the rising demand from parents, health sector and education professionals Camp Quality is undergoing the biggest development in its history which is going to see them expand services to children who are below 13 having a parent living with cancer.
Camp Quality decided to commission Dr Claire Wakefield of the University of NSW and Sydney Children's Hospital to carry out a comprehensive global Literature Review on the interventions and support currently accessible to children having a parent living with cancer, the biggest of its nature, capturing some 330 abstracts.
The extensive review discovered that this particular group of children was in urgent need of age-appropriate updates and information, a secure space for sharing and 'normalize' their pent up feelings together with other children who were also undergoing a similar thing and that support was required in communicating with their other family members.
Lacking age-suitable information, the literature review found that majority of the children frequently understood that their parent was gravely ill even before their parent decided to inform them, although they had misconceptions regarding cancer which time and again was scarier than the reality of their parent's condition. Because it's unusual for kids to consider their parent's possible mortality, this could lead to a very heavy psychological burden. Obtainable interventions in the US and in Europe were found to decrease these feelings of depression and anxiety.
Cultivating Optimistic Communities
Camp Quality has got a 3 tier approach.
Designed for greatest accessibility and reach, this includes; work book and an app for children. The range of Camp Quality well recognized Primary School Education Program that features a performance that is live with lively puppets and a Question & Answer (Q&A) session following the show and is going to be broadened.
Camp Quality age specific kids' camps will be undergoing over the next 2 years a phased expansion to accommodate children having cancer, their own siblings and kids whose parents have got cancer. Over the next 2 years Camp Quality will commence with Middle, Mini and Junior Camp.
Emotional Support Program
Calculated for the smaller portion of children having higher needs this program is being developed together with one of the leading universities in Australia over the next 12 months.
Ways of Giving
Whenever your child has been diagnosed as having cancer, the family's world gets turned completely upside down. In the midst chaos of the endless tests, drugs, needles, financial pressures and missed school, there is a single organisation to which families are turning to for a sense of normality, hope, and resilience: Camp Quality. Camp Quality is aiming at reaching all children in Australia who are living with cancer. However, currently Camp Quality is only able to assist 1-in-3. The excellent news however, is that there are numerous methods through which you could aid towards making this an actual reality.
Select one or several of the following ways and assist in attaining that dream:
- Give towards the Appeal
- Give today
- Give monthly
- Give back through celebrating your own personal great moments
- Give in remembrance/memory of a special one
- Give a legacy with an impact that will last
- Give through fundraising
- Give being an organisation
- Give your time