About Camp2018-03-02T21:13:37+00:00

Welcome To Camp Can Do

Camp Can Do is for children, ages 8-17, who have been diagnosed with cancer in the last 5 years. We also offer Camp Can Do II, a sibling camp for kids, ages 8-17, whose brother or sister has been diagnosed with cancer.

Since our humble beginnings in 1983, Camp Can Do has provided a camping experience for thousands of children. Camp is run by a team of volunteers from all walks of life. Our staff includes doctors, oncology nurses, survivors, former campers and professionals ranging from child life specialists to accountants.

Our medical staff is available around-the-clock to administer routine chemotherapy, arrange for blood counts, handle medical emergencies that may arise, and adjust any program to meet campers’ needs.

Camp Can Do takes place at Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center in beautiful Mt. Gretna, PA. Gretna Glen sits on over 200 acres of scenic hills and woodlands just east of Hershey, PA. There’s a lake for boating and fishing and of course a swimming pool. Special offerings include a low and a high ropes course, a trust trail, a giant climbing wall, and a zipline, all operated by the skilled and knowledgeable Gretna Glen staff. Click here to visit the Gretna Glen website for more information on their facilities. Below is a map of our camp at Gretna Glen.

Map of Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center, central PA

Camp Can Do is all about fun for our campers with arts and crafts, swimming, fishing, boating, rocket and pine car building, archery, adventure challenge, The Look (It’s all about pampering!) biking, ceramics, music, and much more. We have outdoor cooking, campfires and special evening activities, from field games to carnivals, to concerts and more.

A big highlight is the day we spend at at Hershey Park. With aromas of chocolate in the air, it’s Pennsylvania’s most exciting and (best-smelling) amusement park! There is also the much-anticipated Camp Can Do Dance, where we pull out all the stops and dance the night away.

Our mission is to provide a safe and fun camping experience for children with cancer and their siblings.

This year Sibling Camp is June 17-21, 2018.
Week One of Patient Camp is  August 5-11, 2018.
Week 2 of Patient Camp is  August 12-18, 2018.

 

  • Smiling Camper and Volunteer Staff at Camp Can Do
  • Two guys at Camp Can Do, Gretna Glen, central PA
  • Campers in goofy sunglasses at Camp Can Do, Gretna Glen. central PA
  • Swimming at Camp Can Do, Gretna Glen. central PA
  • Tux Tee Shirt Camper at Camp Can Do, Gretna Glen, PA

Our Camp Philosophy: Can Do

The treatment of children with cancer has improved dramatically in the past twenty years with increasing numbers of children surviving and growing into adulthood. This hopeful outlook for children with cancer means that the focus of treatment had to shift from dealing with an acute disease usually ending in death, to dealing with a chronic illness and long term survival.

The child, not the disease, becomes paramount. The goal becomes not only the cure, but a child cured of cancer who is also emotionally, socially, and intellectually healthy. Children with cancer are encouraged to lead “normal” lives. They go to school, play with friends, participate in sports; in short, they do all of the things that their healthy peers do.

Why then a special camp for children with cancer? Recognizing that they share the same needs, expectations, and desires of healthy children is vitally important. That does not negate the fact however, that there is another dimension to the lives of children with cancer that can best be understood by and shared with other children diagnosed with cancer.

While Camp Can-Do has no formal sessions designed to educate or share feelings about cancer, the disease is woven into the fabric of daily life at camp. Here, amidst the daily activities, children feel free to reminisce with others who have had similar experiences … about hearing the diagnosis the first time, about feeling sick, losing their hair, the reactions of friends or the myriad of other issues that that are unique to children with cancer. At Camp Can-Do, children have the opportunity to be themselves and to have fun.

Camp Can Do allows kids with cancer to just be kids. Those who have spent a week at Camp Can Do will tell you that camp is like a bubble. It’s a world within the real world where you are free to be yourself, have fun, and just forget about everything else. It’s safe in the camp bubble, and once you’ve experienced it, you can’t wait to return.

We have seen hundreds of campers make lifelong friends, gain confidence and build their self-esteem. Many campers return to Camp Can Do after graduation to take part in our Leadership Training (LT) Program, which assists young adults in making the transition from camper to counselor.

Camp Can Do Camper Cancer SurvivorCamp Can Do is a family community, like a second home, waiting to welcome you!