to tell us your story!
What’s Your Story?
I love to read.
Historical fiction is my favorite. And almost anything about Texas because I love Texas history. I immerse myself in the characters, face their challenges with them, cringe when they take a wrong turn and, the best part, celebrate their success. There’s nothing better than a good story.
At Camp For All, there is plenty of love, laughter, and healing to go around – there’s also a lot of hope. My wife, Diann, discovered this firsthand when she began volunteering with Hope, a camp for children with HIV and Aids from Aids Foundation Houston that comes to Camp For All. In 2011, I agreed to join her as a volunteer. I never would have imagined that, seven years later, volunteering at Hope is still one of the brightest highlights of my year. During my initial trip to Camp For All, I was blown away – by the staff, the barrier-free facility and the campers. I could see why everyone has such life changing experiences. At the end of my first week I saw a camper, who was so upset that her time at Camp was coming to an end, that she refused to get on the bus to go home. I picked up the seven-yearold and gently carried her to the bus, tears rolling down her cheeks and mine. Today, this camper still gets emotional on her last day of camp, but she has grown into a confident, happy and independent young woman and has no problem getting on the bus, even though she still doesn’t want to leave. I hope you will consider volunteering at Camp For All so you can tell your own stories. But be warned, it is addictive in the best way. You might not become a Board member or a lifetime volunteer like Diann and me, but, as the Grinch said,
“your heart will grow 10 times more” just by visiting this place where magic truly happens.
Mike Lewter Camp For All is a unique, barrier-free camp working in partnership with other not-for-profits to enrich the lives of children and adults with challenging illnesses or special needs and their families throughout the year. Camp For All is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization. Camp For All Newsletter is produced by the Camp For All Foundation. Copyright 2018 by the Camp For All Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of this Newsletter can be reproduced or reprinted without written permission.
More than anything, I love stories from our Camp For All campers and their parents. Here are two of my favorites:
I had a seizure at Camp. When I got through it, I said, ‘I guess I have to go home, now. And they said, No….Let’s go to archery!’ It made me realize that I wasn’t defined by having epilepsy.
My son didn’t want to go to Camp For All. He has cancer, has lost his hair and didn’t think he could do anything anymore. He was angry at the world. His doctors talked him into going. The first night he took his counselor aside and said, ‘I can’t go to the dance!’ His counselor said, Why not?’ My son took off his hat and showed his counselor his bald head. The counselor said, ‘Look around you. You are surrounded by other kids going through just what you are.’ My son’s eyes were opened. He realized what he still can do and has hope! Thank you for sending home a different child.
These are stories of real-life heroes. I can talk all day about our mission, the fact that we serve 11,000 campers throughout the year and we serve almost every single challenge that you can think of! But, if I share a camper story with someone, people get it. They understand why Camp For All is such an important and needed program for children and adults with challenging illnesses and special needs.
Do you have a Camp For All story to share?
Pat Prior Sorrells
President and CEO
If you do, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to read it and celebrate your success story.
Camp Stories Amy
6 Years Old SPIKE ‘N’ WAVE Epilepsy Foundation of Texas Houston/Dallas/Fort Worth
While standing in line, waiting to take her very first trail ride on a Camp For All horse, Amy’s counselor asked her, “What’s your favorite activity at Camp so far?” Amy thought for a moment, looked around at all of her new friends and said,
“I don’t have a favorite, but I love being at Camp with people just like me.”
10 Years Old HOPE AIDS Foundation Houston
Jake stared up at the indoor challenge course in Star Place as fear washed over his face. He told the Camp For All staffer that he didn’t think he could climb the wall. Jake was assured he would be safe and the staffer offered to climb with him. So, Jake agreed, only if the staffer climbed, jumped and swung beside him every step of the way. Jake made it up the wall, through the challenge course and flew down the zip line, for the first time ever! At lunch, Jake ran up to the Camp For All staffer and thanked him for helping him face his fears. Later, Jake had even bigger news.
“I did the outdoor high ropes course, all by myself!”
Camps that come to CAMP FOR ALL SPRING 2019 schedule
Camp Story Chris
15 Years Old DREAMCATCHER McLane Children’s Hospital, Baylor Scott & White Children with cancer
Chris, a teenager who attended Dreamcatcher at Camp For All, would not speak to anyone in his family or at the hospital except for one-word answers. He would plug in his earphones and tune everyone out. Chris’s cancer treatment caused some physical issues, he was on medication for depression and anxiety, and he did not want to come to Camp. All of that soon changed. After arriving, Chris bonded with others fighting cancer. The earphones disappeared, he became talkative, engaging, and reached out to offer help to others. After Camp, his grandmother sought out the director of Dreamcatcher and said, “I don’t know what you do out there, but thank you for giving our grandson back to us.”
DATE CAMP NEED Jan 18-20 Wacky Winter Weekend Children and adults with epilepsy Jan 25-27 First Light Family Camp Veterans and their families Jan 25-27 Re-Evaluation Counseling Adults in counseling with mental health issues Feb 1-3 Be An Angel Families that have a child with special needs Feb 6 BSSLC Day Program Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities Feb 8-10 Cell-A-Bration Children with sickle cell disease Feb 13 BSSLC Day Program Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities Feb 15-17 Shining Stars Family Camp Families that have a child with kidney disease Feb 15-17 Love Without Limits Children with orthopedic and neurologic diagnosis Feb 15-17 Camprageous Hearts Children who have cardiovascular challenges Feb 22-24 Retreat of Renewal Families who have lost a loved one to cancer Feb 22-24 MOST Teens with disabilities Feb 22-24 LIFE Children with physical and intellectual disabilities Mar 6 BSSLC Day Program Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities Feb 28-Mar 1 Camp For Joy Children with language and learning differences Mar 1-3 du Ballon Rouge Children and teens with Tourette syndrome Mar 1-3 Down Syndrome Family Camp Families that have a child with Down syndrome Mar 7-10 Xtreme Children participating in wheelchair sports Mar 8-10 Champ Camp Families that have a child with MS Mar 8-11 Cell-A-Bration Next Level Teens with sickle cell disease Mar 11-15 Camp For All 2U MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Mar 15-17 Healing Hearts English speaking grieving families Mar 15-17 Campamento Sanando Corazones Spanish speaking grieving families Mar 20-22 Monarch Butterfly Children with neurological differences Mar 22-24 Retreat of Renewal - Spanish Speaking Families who have lost a loved one to cancer Mar 22-24 Keep Smiling Children with cleft palate Mar 22-24 Home Place of Texas Adults with intellectual differences Mar 29 Kolter Texas Trek Children with and without learning differences Mar 29-31 Pump it Up Children with cardiac challenges April 2-5 Thrive Academy Children with learning differences April 4-7 No Limits Children with amputations and limb deformities April 5-7 SIA Children and teens with gastrointestinal diseases April7 Life Day Camp Children with physical and intellectual disabilities April 10 BSSLC Day Program Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities April 10-12 S.M.I.L.E. Children with autism April 12-14 Periwinkle Family Camp Families affected by cancer or other life-threatening illnesses April 12-14 YOLO Teens with life threatening illnesses and their siblings April 14 Dermadillo Family Day Camp Families with children with skin disorders April 17 BSSLC Day Program Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities April 17-18 The Parish School Children with social and learning differences April 24 Rockdale Intermediate School Children with special needs April 25-26 Monarch Chrysalis Children with neurological differences April 26-28 Por Que No Adults with intellectual disabilities April 26-28 Be An Angel Families that have a child with special needs April 28 Family Day Camp For All Open House for the Community May 1 BSSLC Day Program Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities May 3-5 Higher Ground Adults with brain injuries May 8 BSSLC Day Program Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities
PARTNERS Epilepsy Foundation of Texas Houston/Dallas/Fort Worth Easter Seals of Greater Houston Re-Evalution Counseling Be An Angel Fund, INC Brenham State Supported Living Center Sickle Cell Association of Austin Marc Thomas Foundation Brenham State Supported Living Center Kidney Kamp Foundation Shriner’s Hospital For Children Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas Texas Children’s Hospital Easter Seals of Greater Houston Texas A&M University Brenham State Supported Living Center The Joy School Tourette Syndrome Association of Texas Down Syndrome Association of Houston TIRR Foundation National MS Society Lone Star Sickle Cell Association of Austin Marc Thomas Foundation Camp For All Program Bo’s Place Bo’s Place The Monarch School Texas Children’s Hospital Texas Children’s Hospital, Plastic Surgery Home Place Of Texas Kolter School Texas Children’s Hospital Thrive Academy NO Limits Limb Loss Foundation Texas Children’s Hospital - GI Texas A&M University Brenham State Supported Living Center The Westview School The Periwinkle Foundation The Periwinkle Foundation A Childrens House for the Soul Brenham State Supported Living Center The Parish School Rockdale Intermediate School School The Monarch School City of Pasadena Texas Be An Angel Fund, INC Camp For All Program Brenham State Supported Living Center The Pilot Clubs of Texas Brenham State Supported Living Center
T.H. Rogers School
T.H. Rogers 5th Grade
Children in the Vanguard program with hearing
Impairments and multiple disabilities May 10-12 CPALS Families with a child with cerebral palsy May 11-13 Arbor Families with children with developmental delays
CPATH The Arbor School
SUMMER 2019 schedule DATE CAMP May 23-25 Janus May 27-31 Sunrise May 29-31 Shooting Stars May 28-31 Monarch Butterfly June 3-7 Camp For All 2U June 2-8 MDA Summer Camp June 9-15 Spike ‘n’ Wave June 10-14 Camp For All 2U June 16-21 Star Trails June 17-21 Camp For All 2U June 23-28 Rainbow Connection June 23-28 Dreamcatcher June 24-28 Camp For All 2U June 30-Jul 5 Camp That Love Built June 30-Jul 5 Smiles Jul 7-12 Xtreme Jul 7-12 PHEver Jul 7-12 Social Superheros Jul 8-12 Camp For All 2U Jul 14-19 Hope Jul 15-19 Camp For All 2U Jul 21-26 Champions Jul 22-26 Camp For All 2U Jul 28-Aug 2 Periwinkle Jul 29-Aug 2 Camp For All 2U Aug 4-9 Cell-A-Bration Aug 4-9 Discovery, Texas Aug 4-9 Shining Stars Aug 13-16 TR Summit
NEED Children with burns Teens with developmental challenges Adults with intellectual disabilities Children with neurological differences Camp at Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston Children and teens with neuromuscular disease Children with epilepsy Camp at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston Children with cancer and blood disorders Camp at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin Children and teens with cancer Children with cancer Camp at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Children and adults with spina bifida Children with cerebral palsy Children participating in wheelchair sports Children and teens with phenylketonuria Children with social and learning differences Camp at MD Anderson Children’s Hospital Children with HIV and AIDS Camp at Shriners Hospitals for Children - Houston Campers 10-60 with intellectual challenges Camp at Memorial Hermann Hospital Children with cancer and blood disorders and their siblings TBD Children with sickle cell disease Children with skin disorders Children and teens with kidney disease Conference for therapeutic recreation specialists
PARTNERS Memorial Hermann Hospital / Shriner’s Hospital Briarwood Tuttle School Hill Country MHDD The Monarch School Camp For All Program Muscular Dystrophy Association Epilepsy Foundation of Texas Houston/Dallas/Fort Worth Camp For All Program MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center Camp For All Program Childhood Cancer Connection McLane Children’s Hospital, Baylor Scott and White Camp For All Program Spina Bifida Association Houston Gulf Coast Easter Seals of Greater Houston TIRR Foundation University of Texas Health Science Center The Parish School Camp For All Program AIDS Foundation Houston Camp For All Program The Arc of Greater Houston Camp For All Program The Periwinkle Foundation Camp For All Program Sickle Cell Association of Austin Marc Thomas Foundation National MS Society Lone Star Kidney Kamp Foundation TR Branch of Texas Recreation and Park Society
(TENTATIVE) FALL 2019 SCHEDULE schedule DATE Sept 5-6 Sept 6-8 Sept 6-8 Sept 11-13 Sept 13-15 Sept 19-20 Sept 20-22 Sept 20-22 Sept 26-27
CAMP Gryphon’s Nest NF Camp Duchenne Family Retreat Bridgeprep Be An Angel Monarch Butterfly YOLO Periwinkle Family Camp Monarch Chrysalis
Sept 27-29 Family Discovery Camp Oct 4-6 Long Term Survivor Camp Oct 4-6 KGAT (Kids Get Arthritis Too) Oct 11-13 CLIFF Oct 18-20 Keep Smiling Oct 18-20 Camprageous Hearts Oct 18-20 Safe Haven Family Camp Oct 25-27 ARC of Greater Houston Oct 25-27 Arms Wide Adoption Services Oct 25-27 People With Smiles Oct 30-Nov 1 TLC Nov 1-3 Rocks Nov 1-3 22Q Texas Nov 1-3 LIFE Nov 8-10 Lonestar Nov 15-17 Healing Hearts Nov 15-17 MOST
NEED PARTNERS Children with learning differences Families affected by neurofibromatosis Families affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy School for children with learning differences Families that have a child with special needs Children with neurological differences Teens with life threatening illnesses and their siblings Families affected by cancer or other life-threatening illnesses Children with neurological differences
Gateway Academy Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy Bridgeprep Academy Be An Angel Fund, INC The Monarch School The Periwinkle Foundation The Periwinkle Foundation The Monarch School
Famlies that have an adult with MS Teens and siblngs with life-threatening illnesses Children with arthritis Families affected by cancer Children with cleft palate Children who have cardiovascular challenges MDPC Family Camp Teens with developmental challenges Families adopting from foster care People with Prader-Willi Syndrome Adults with traumatic brain injury Youth with autism Families affected by 22q deletion syndrome Children with physical and intellectual disabilities Children who have experienced trauma Families who have lost a loved one Teens with disabilities
National MS Society Lone Star The Periwinkle Foundation Arthritis Foundation Candlelighter’s Childhood Cancer Family Alliance Texas Children’s Hospital, Plastic Surgery Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church The Arc of Greater Houston Arms Wide Adoption Services Texas Prader-Willi Association Transitional Learning Center at Galveston Camp Journey VCFS Texas, Inc. Texas A&M University Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas Bo’s Place The Arc of Greater Houston
Camp Story Alex
16 Years Old STAR TRAILS MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center
Campers and Camp staff connect in a variety of ways. Alex came to the United States from Venezuela to undergo cancer treatment. When he arrived at Camp, he was on active treatments to help cure his cancer and, as a result, had lost most of his hair. This was something Alex was very self-conscious about and he often wore a hat. Speaking very little English, Alex was not very communicative. On the last night at Camp, everyone gathered around the campfire. Alex walked over to Matt, a program staffer, took him to the side and, in broken English, told him, “You brought joy back into my life. You made this week so fun for me.” Matt choked back tears and hugged Alex. “Moments like that are why I love working here,” said Matt. Today, Alex is in remission and has a head full of hair!
Camp For All celebrated the magic and whimsy our campers bring to Camp every year with “All the Places We Go!” The annual gala held in Houston raised a splendiferous $750,000! Maidie Ryan, gala chair, was fanciful in honoring Dr. Mark W. Kline and Texas Children’s Hospital for their partnership and support of Camp For All and Liz Rigney for her many years of heartfelt voluntarism, support and board leadership.
Southwestern themed décor, a lively auction and a fun and festive crowd filled the Fireman’s Training Center at this year’s gala in Brenham! Camp For All hosted more than 400 supporters at “A Prickly Pear Affair” and raised over $257,000! The event, co-chaired by Tiffany Morisak and Jamie Rankin, honored Sandi and Dr. Gary Appelt for their many years of steadfast support, selfless service, and dedication to Camp For All.
The Camp For All Young Professionals celebrated the era of big hair, neon clothing, and totally awesome music at their annual fundraiser. This ‘80s themed dance party came complete with live music from Plush Party Band, bodacious bites generously donated by BB’s Café and several tubular door prize packages! Margaret Crowson and Nikki Suarez, event co-chairs, helped raise more than $30,000 to help bring campers to Camp For All!
PEYTON Donovan Dedicated volunteers find their way to Camp For All in unique ways and truly change lives! Peyton Donovan’s mother, Karin, visited Camp on a women’s retreat and, having learned about the wide array of challenges we serve, decided to get her entire family involved. Peyton had high expectations about Camp For All when she was on her way to volunteer. She recalls her mother telling her family all about this barrier-free place where kids with various challenges can do every single activity! Peyton couldn’t wait to see campers in action and was particularly excited to meet new people and help campers discover all they can do. Six years ago, she and her family drove through the gates of Camp For All for the first time and the rest is history! As a volunteer, Peyton found her niche working with the equestrian program and our friendly ranch animals. She loves prepping the horses at the Ranch so that they’re ready for their trail rides with campers, so much so, that she proclaimed, “The Ranch Staff have practically become my family!” Peyton’s best day involves taking campers with many different abilities for horseback rides, oftentimes their first ride ever!
Peyton fondly reflects on car rides back home from Camp with her mom. They swapped stories about their experiences and told inspiring and funny stories about campers they interacted with, bonding them closer together as mother and daughter. Today, Peyton can likely be found as an in-cabin counselor for Social Superheroes, a camp for kids with social and learning differences sponsored by The Parish School, and Champions, a camp for campers with intellectual challenges from the Arc of Greater Houston. When asked what her biggest takeaways are after volunteering at Camp for six years, Peyton said, “Always look on the bright side of things and always be positive!” Thank you for helping our campers discover life year after year, Peyton! To volunteer at Camp For All or Camp For All 2U, please visit campforall.org/volunteer
Always look on the bright side of things and always be positive!
CAMP FOR ALL EVENTS
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[CampForAll.org or call 713.686.5666] The
No Barriers Society is a group of generous hearts who have demonstrated
their commitment to the mission of Camp For All by including us in their wills and other estate plans. If Camp For All is already included in your giving plans, please let us hear from you. If you are not a member of the No Barriers Society and wish to help Camp For All continue to help children and adults with special needs, please consider a gift in your estate planning. Contact Belinda Munsell at 713.686.5666 or email@example.com.
We are grateful for these gifts of foresight.
Michael E. Lewter z Gary Appelt, M.D., Jim Avioli, Brett Berly, Jason Bernhardt, Ginger Bertrand, Julie Boushka, Pam Brasseux, Rogers L. Crain, Lyndsay Fincher, Andy Fossler, Mark Harmon, Joel A. Johnson, John Kelley, Dorothy Marchand, Susan Martin, Matt Mogas, Michael Odegard, Robin Reed, Ann Rogers, Patrick Samuels, Julie Taetz, Eric Wade, Susan Walker, Leslye Weaver, Martha White, Julius Young z EX OFFICIO: Taylor McDaniel, Lesley Schick, Pat Prior Sorrells, Michelle Zschech z EMERITUS: Paul Gerson, M.D., Laurence B. Neuhaus, Robert S. Zeller, M.D. z PRESIDENT AND CEO: Pat Prior Sorrells z GENERAL COUNSEL: Gary W. Miller BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIR: