Virtual Camp Underway!

This program was remarkable for a number of reasons. It was the first-ever virtual group program the in-hospital team had run. Even in this new world of social distancing, we were able to connect families at the hospital with each other—we never would have been able to bring these Campers together any other way. I’m certain this is just the start of great things to come!

— Ken Aldridge, In-Hospital Program Coordinator

Virtual circle time story

In recent months, a lot has changed in the world—but what hasn’t changed is the need kids and families affected by childhood cancer have for fun, friendship, and community. This pandemic has challenged us to re-examine the impact of Camp, and the role we play in supporting children and families through the isolating experience of a childhood cancer diagnosis.

We’re focused on the needs of affected kids and families impacted during this pandemic through creative virtual camp programming. Virtual programs launched months ago, and summer 2020 virtual programs are now live!

Virtual camp

Our goal is to reach the same number of children and families as before. If the early response from kids and parents is any indication, this goal is entirely achievable!

Support virtual camp today

What is virtual camp? How does it work?

Safety is our number one priority. Virtual programs reach children affected by childhood cancer and their families wherever they are, keeping everyone at home and physically distanced from one another until it’s safe to be together again. This is especially important as so many of our Campers are immunocompromised.

  • Our virtual March Break Day Camp was a hit, with forts built in living rooms and kitchens transformed into ad-hoc science labs around the province. Virtual summer camp registration launched in June.
  • We are still at children’s hospital bedsides, virtually partnering with paediatric child life specialists who are delivering our camp resources and activities in-person. Tablets now complement that bedside support so that children can interact directly with their Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium program specialists, virtual group programs have launched and kids in isolation can now connect with each other virtually, for the first time!
  • We’ve launched “Around the Campfire,” an opportunity for families to virtually circle up in real time with camp staff and other special camp guests via a private web link. Over 100 families joined us for the first virtual campfire—some of them new to Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium!
  • Monthly program brochures listing all the upcoming virtual camp opportunities sent regularly to all registered families.
Current brochure Upcoming brochure

How safe is virtual camp programming?

As safe as can be! Virtual programs are designed to reach children and families wherever they are, keeping everyone at home and physically distanced from one another until it’s safe to be together again. This is especially important as so many of our Campers are immunocompromised.

Virtual programs keep kids and families safe and secure within the Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium community.

If you are a family that is new childhood cancer and new to Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium, we’d love to hear from you! Inquire today.

New camper/family inquiries

Is there anything I can do now to help Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium?

Our work is made possible through the generous support of those who believe in our mission.

You can donate today, raise funds through a community event like the CampOut for Cancer, or create your own virtual fundraising event. Check out our toolkit here for fundraising ideas!

Sign up here to subscribe to our general newsletter. Upcoming editions will be chock full of stories and info about our innovative program response to COVID-19 challenges.

You can follow our social channels and share our inspirational content widely to build awareness.

What is the Need?

The need for Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium’s recreational programs has never been greater. Schools are closed, hospitals are locked down, and all non-essential services are shut down.

All non-medical in-person programs at hospitals have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Siblings are no longer allowed in hospitals, and only one parent at a time may visit their child. Job loss is a new reality for some families, exacerbating the financial difficulties common to many in this position.

Sadly, the all-too-familiar fear and isolation experienced by families facing childhood cancer has deepened during these times.

What are parents and hospital partners saying?

Virtual programs are filling a critical void and they are immensely grateful.

“Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium—your virtual programs are like a lifeline right now to kids and families struggling to stay positive—you are lifting their spirits, my spirits, and those of the medical team too. Thank you!”

—Dr. Sarah Alexander, Staff Oncologist and Clinical Director, Haematology/Oncology, SickKids Hospital