Children with serious health challenges must often spend a lot of time thinking about their limitations. Thanks to a new, 105-acre camp that just broke ground in Pinckney this week, about 1,500 of those kids will get a chance to focus on what they can
do — including how much fun they can have.
"They're so used to hearing 'you can't do that because of your illness.' At camp it's always, 'you can do that,'" says North Star Reach Marketing and Communications Specialist Marji Wisniewski. "They make friends and meet kids just like them. And that's important. They are being cured of their illness at their hospitals, but it's at camp where they heal."
Beginning in the fall of 2015, North Star Reach will host fall and spring weekend camps and weeklong summer camps for children with children with cancer, heart disease, ventilator dependency, organ transplants, sickle cell disease. Many will be referred from their healthcare providers, as North Star Reach has partnered with 13 hospitals for the project.
So far, $21,000,000 of the $26,000,000 needed to construct the many buildings of North Star Reach and to maintain operations for the first two years.
"We're going to have a complete medical center on site, a beautiful dining hall and rustic cabins," says Wisniewski. "Everything is 'state of the art rustic,' meaning it has everything these children with special needs need to have, but they won't have to think about it. For them, they're just going to camp."
The Pinckney camp is a provisional member of SeriousFun Children’s Network, which was founded in 1988 by Paul Newman. North Star Reach will be the ninth such camp in the U.S.
In addition to 20 to 25 staffers, North Star Reach will rely on a number of volunteers to complete their programming. More than 100 volunteer opportunities will be available each week. For more information on volunteering or taking part in the capital campaign, people may visit NorthStarReach.org
Source: Marji Wisniewski, North Star Reach
Writer: Natalie Burg