College Prep Camp

Children with cancer are up to 15 times less likely to attend college than their own siblings. Although we’ve provided our campers with cherished childhood memories for over 37 years, we want to make sure our campers are set up for success in their adult lives. Therefore, we are proud to present College Prep Camp, a new program designed to prepare our campers for college and beyond.

College Prep Camp will take place during Session 1 of Summer Camp, July 7-11. The program will feature guest speakers and camp alumni covering a range of topics surrounding the college admission process. Participants will speak to college counselors, directors, and students. They will explore potential majors, search for colleges that fit their preferences, learn about financial aid, and will even fill out the Common Application, which is used by more than 750 colleges nationwide. 

We are extremely excited to offer this new program. Registration for College Prep Camp will open soon. If you or anyone you know is involved in college admissions and would like to help out, please contact Ryan Campbell at ryan@happinessiscamping.org.

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Counselor and Mentorship Program

Researchers at The University of Illinois conducted a study in 2017 regarding the effects of pediatric cancer on adult survivors. They found that adult survivors of pediatric cancer are five times less likely to get a job than their peers without cancer, and up to FIFTEEN TIMES less likely to go to college than their own siblings. We believe our responsibility for our campers continues long after they age out, so we developed the Counselor and Mentorship Program (CAMP).

CAMP features three components designed to decrease the effects of pediatric cancer on our campers as they enter the “real world.” The first component uses hands-on STEM education to generate interest in these subjects, inspiring our CAMPers to major in them in college. The second component teaches CAMPers basic life skills, including cooking, first aid, applying to college, doing laundry, and changing a tire. The third component gives our CAMPers real working experience, as they assist counselors in younger cabins each night and learn the various duties of being a counselor.

After a highly successful inaugural year, we are making some exciting changes in 2019. CAMPers will now attend for a three week program (as opposed to the two week program offered in 2018). This gives us even more time to introduce them to fantastic guest speakers, and also gives them more working experience in the cabins. We hope to welcome new speakers this year, including former camper Jay Riley, Director of Alumni at the University of South Florida-Sarasota. Jay will teach our CAMPers about the college application process and will even introduce them to current students, advisers, and professors!

CAMP is open to all 16 year old children with cancer, as well as 16 year old siblings. Our first year was a huge success and featured a great group of CAMPers, and we can’t wait to continue to build this program.

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Meet our First Counselor from Germany: Lars!

Camp has always been home to staff members from all over the world. Over our history, we’ve had staff from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Mexico, South Africa, Ukraine, and many other countries. HIC maintains a partnership with Camp America, an organization designed to match international students with roles in American camps.

This year, we were privileged to host our first counselor from Germany: Lars! Lars joined the HIC family from Munchweiler, a small village near the border of France. His background in engineering immediately stood out to us. Lars has even won awards for designing and 3D printing model cars! With the inauguration of our Counselor and Mentorship Program (which features a STEM component) we were excited to add him to our staff.

Lars became an instant sensation with both the kids and his fellow counselors. As a counselor of the Cheyenne, our oldest boys, he was often surrounded by campers copying his accent and asking him questions about Germany. The high point of Lars’ summer came when he was awarded “Actor of the Year” for his role as the villain in the Cheyenne’s Hollywood Premier film. When asked about his HIC experience, Lars said, “It was a great experience. I learned a lot about the American culture and the work with the kids was really fun.”

The fact that our campers were able to get a glimpse of the German culture through Lars’ presence was invaluable. Do you also want an authentic German experience? Join us at our Oktoberfest at the Black Forest Inn on Tuesday, September 25 at 6:00pm. Enjoy a German buffet, listen to live music, and bid on small tricky tray items, including Walt Disney World theme park tickets! For tickets to our Oktoberfest, visit https://www.happinessiscamping.org/oktoberfest-registration/

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2019 Camp Dates: Time to Start the Countdown

It has been 34 days since Summer Camp has ended. For most of the campers, that’s way too long since the last time they saw their friends. For some of our parents, that’s way too much time that their kids have spent at home (thank goodness for school starting). For Rich and Ryan, that’s WAY too much time being cooped up in the office together.

Well today, we officially turn our full attention to the 2019 season. Today, the countdown to Summer 2019 begins! The dates are as follows:

  • Session 1: July 7-11
  • Session 2: July 14-18
  • Session 3: July 21-25
  • Session 4: July 28-August 1
  • Session 5: August 4-9

As you may notice, these are the same weeks as Summer Camp 2018. There is one small change; Session 5 (and ONLY Session 5) will end on FRIDAY, August 9. This gives us one extra night to celebrate and host Prom! Registrations will begin soon on CampDoc, and we will let you know as soon as they open! So…ONLY 297 DAYS UNTIL CAMP!!!

Tune in next week when we reveal our theme. It’s going to be magical!

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Second Annual Santa Fights Cancer Splash & Dash 5K

Our Second Annual Santa Fights Cancer Splash & Dash 5K was a great success! 136 runners registered to race and 92 people braved the elements to run in the torrential rain. Our overall winner was Gary Leaman with a time of 18:38.3. First place on the Women’s side was Laura Straub with a time of 21:08.4. Laura is also running the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon on behalf of HIC this November. To donate to her cause, please visit her Crowdrise page at https://www.crowdrise.com/laurastraub1. Congratulations to all of our runners and thank you so much to everyone that donated and attended!

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50/50 Raffle Winner!

Happiness Is Camping would like to congratulate a local Blairstown resident for winning our First Annual 50/50 Raffle! A total of 267 tickets were sold, meaning the winner took home $13,350. Thank you to everyone that purchased a ticket. HIC received a total of $13,350 from the fundraiser, enough to sponsor 6 kids for a free week of camp. Thank you all for your participation!!!

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Online Registration for the 2018 Dash and Splash is Now Open!

Online registration for the 2018 Happiness Is Camping 5K Dash and Splash – Santa Fights Cancer is now open! Want to run but you aren’t free on August 11th? We’ve added a Virtual Runner category this year. Register as a virtual runner, run from whatever location you choose and we will mail you a race shirt. You say you do not run unless a zombie is chasing you? We’ve also added a Couch Potato category that is perfect for you. Register as a couch potato runner and support Happiness Is Camping while happily doing no form of exercise at all on race day. We have something for everyone so please register today and help put a smile on the face of a child with cancer!
 
The registration link is:
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Join our 2018 TCS NYC Marathon Team!

Are you looking for the accomplishment of a lifetime? Compete in one of the World Major Marathons while supporting children with cancer! Runners on Happiness Is Camping’s team are required to raise a minimum of $2,500. These funds will be used to provide camp for a child with cancer. Imagine allowing a child with cancer to leave their hospital room to shoot archery or play in the pool with other children who have gone through similar experiences. 

Runners on our team will receive guaranteed entry into the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon and a Happiness Is Camping running shirt.

For more information or to join our team, please contact Lisa Benzaia by email at lisa@happinessiscamping or by phone at (908) 362-6733.

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Sign Up For Camp!

It is now time to register for camp!!!

To sign up, simply go to app.campdoc.com/register/happiness

We expect a waiting list again this summer, so please sign up as soon as possible. The process is a lot easier this year for the health exam form. Simply download the form, have your medical professional complete it, and then either upload the form to your CampDoc account or email it to Rich at rich@happinessiscamping.org. Once you are registered you will receive an email confirmation from Rich. 16 year old campers can register for session 1 only.

Summer camp 2018 here we come!!

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2018 Camp Dates

We are excited to announce our 2018 summer camp dates! The following sessions are available for campers and siblings ages 6-15*.

  • Session 1: Sunday, July 8 – Thursday, July 12*
  • Session 2: Sunday, July 15 – Thursday, July 19
  • Session 3: Sunday, July 22 – Thursday, July 26
  • Session 4: Sunday, July 29 – Thursday, August 2
  • Session 5: Sunday, August 5 – Thursday, August 9

*Please not that 16-year-old campers can attend Session 1 only. 

Online registrations are available through CampDoc beginning on October 30. Don’t be placed on the waiting list, register early!

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