Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Attending camp is a common right of passage for kids. Full of fun activities and the chance to learn new skills, children look forward to camp all year long. But when a child has a serious illness, their health often prevents them from this special event. Enter Victory Junction, a year-round camping environment for children ages six to 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Victory Junction has allowed thousands of children to experience camp, despite special medical needs. And now, Victory Junction is bringing their camp environment to the hospital setting.
Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in North Carolina to partner with Victory Junction on a new initiative, the hospital outreach program. Bringing the magic of camp to an inpatient setting, Victory Junction will work with Hemby’s physicians, nurses and staff to bring arts and crafts, puppetry and video and music production to hospitalized children in a one-on-one setting. Activities are designed to fit the specific needs and abilities of each individual child. The new hospital outreach program, like all Victory Junction camping experiences, is provided at no charge to the participants thanks to the generous donations of organizations, corporations and individuals.
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring such unique activities to our pediatric patients,” said Michael Vaccaro, senior director for women’s and children’s services. “Victory Junction truly touches the lives of children and their families, and Hemby is proud to be associated with such a great organization.”
Victory Junction will visit Hemby once a week, with plans to increase the frequency in the future. The Hemby staff knows that Victory Junction will bring many smiles to the faces of their patients.
“Bringing camp to the hospital will provide a great, fun distraction for the kids that will allow them to momentarily forget their health problems,” said Elizabeth Gray, CCLS, child life coordinator. “It will give patients something to look forward to, while allowing them to experience a sense of normalcy and take part in something that healthy children do on a regular basis.”