BANGOR – Every kid has their favorite summer camp activity.
“Probably capture the flag,” one camper said. Another explained, “I like everything!”
When children and their families experience a cancer diagnosis, enjoying outdoor activities at camp isn’t always on their minds.
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Bangor YMCA said they understand the importance of giving a child a real summer camp experience. So each year they come together for Camp Hope.
“There’s really no other place like it in the world,” Kim Tripp said. “There really isn’t.”
Camp Hope is not only a camp for the children to enjoy, but it’s also a place for the families to come together. The week-long camp welcomes children affected by cancer and their families so they can forget about their diagnosis and focus on fun for the whole family.
“We’re around people that understand what we go through and you don’t really have to say anything to them,” Renee Gardner, mother of a camper, said. “They kinda get it.”
Kim Tripp, the mother of Tripp, Jordan and Kylee, has been coming to Camp Hope for four years now. Her son, Tripp Murray, was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer when he was two years old. His mother said he’s been in remission for three years.
She said Camp Hope is a place where kids can be kids.
“They’re just normal. It doesn’t matter if they have hair, or don’t have hair. If they have scars or no scars,” said Kim Tripp. “We’re like a giant family and I love it.”
Between swimming, campfires, or arts and crafts, families are making memories year after year.
“I look forward to coming here,” Kylee Murray said. “The day after I leave can’t wait for the next summer.”