Spring 2021 Newsletter

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SPRING 2021


Next Level Safe

PAT PRIOR SORRELLS, PRESIDENT AND CEO

One of our Partners said, “You know we have multiple camps, but the only camp we would feel safe coming to this year is Camp For All.”

Camper safety has always been a priority at Camp For All. And when I say safety, I mean mentally, physically and emotionally for our children and adults with special needs or challenging illnesses, volunteers and staff. The past year, including cancelling Camp altogether last summer, dictated that we take that priority to a whole new level. COVID, topped off by the recent historic freeze, has had an impact on all of us. For our special campers and their families, the emotionally healing opportunities at Camp For All are needed, more than ever. At the same time, we and our Partners needed to feel confident that we did it right. To make that happen, protocols were adopted that have continued to be refined as the pandemic has evolved. Accredited by the American Camp Association, Camp For All has been guided by solid information on how to provide Camp, safely along with local, state and CDC input. Camp For All protocols utilize all Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI’s) including: • Masks • Self-isolation • Opening day screening • Physical distancing • Increased cleaning • Handwashing • Increased use of hand sanitizer

ON THE COVER:

Clockwise, starting in the upper left corner: Camper at Camp For Y’All family program Be An Angel campers Be An Angel camper The Zschech family volunteering at Camp For All 2 | CAM P F O R A L L | S P R ING 20 21

Scott Brody, Chair of the American Camp Association Board calls it “Swiss Cheese.” A combination of NPI’s make more of a difference than any one NPI on its own. Like layer upon layer of swiss cheese, utilizing all NPI’s helps close the holes and keep campers and staff safe. Starting last fall and utilizing these protocols, we began offering a new type of camp.

It is Family Camp where single families or “bubbles” each have their own cabin. Each “family” participates in self-guided activities, except masking for ropes and horses and they have their own table in the Dining Hall. According to Rachel Poysky, Camp Director for Duchenne Family Retreat who came with Safe Haven Family Camp and Kaleidescope, “Obviously, we were worried about how this is going to work, but I think it was great. The camp staff clearly had thought through all of the protocols for every single thing. We had one family say, ‘it felt just like we were at Disney World.’ And another family said, ‘We felt so safe here. You know we really haven’t been out at all during the whole COVID, so this was just a great opportunity for us.” Family Camp continues this spring and we have made even more adjustments to make summer camps as safe as possible, as well. Camp For All has such a life changing impact on our campers. We are passionate about doing our very best to make that happen. One of our Partners said, “You know we have multiple camps, but the only camp we would feel safe coming to this year is Camp For All.”

PAT PRIOR SORRELLS, PRESIDENT AND CEO

Once again we have exceeded expectations because we are passionate about our Mission.


MISSION

Camp For All is a unique, barrier-free camp working in partnership with other not-for-profit organizations to enrich the lives of children and adults with challenging illnesses or special needs and their families throughout the year.

From The Chair

BY PATRICK SAMUELS

Here at Camp For All we have and continue to look at challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles. That’s why our theme for 2021 is “New Beginnings.” Although much has changed in the world and our lives in the past year, we still have so much love, laughter, hope and healing to look forward to! Camp For All has found creative and innovative ways to continue to deliver our Mission to campers, despite the challenging times. For example, if we look back just a year ago, Camp had a total of two programs – Camp For All at our facilities and Camp For All 2U at various hospital locations. Today, only a year later, Camp has a total of FOUR programs! The first two mentioned as well as Camp For Y’All, the individual sign up experience open to any family, and virtual programming that’s offered to Partners who can’t make it back to Camp For All, yet. And we didn’t stop there, Partner Family Camps were restructured with additional protocols to keep everyone safe and Camp For All 2U expanded into venues outside of just hospitals, like The Parish School. This dedication to creativity and innovation wouldn’t be possible without your support.

Thank you for your generous heart! Thank you for loving our campers as much as we do! Thank you for believing in our Mission! HERE’S TO NEW BEGINNINGS! PATRICK SAMUELS, BOARD CHAIR

VISIT OUR NEW AMAZON WISHLIST! Camp For All now has a Wishlist on Amazon for you to easily access, browse and contribute to Camp at your convenience. We will keep this list continuously updated with supplies and equipment needed for activities, campers, animal residents and staff. You can select, purchase and have the items shipped directly to Camp For All at anytime you’d like! Your purchases from this list will help more campers discover life at Camp For All!

Visit bit.ly/campforallwishlist to help!

When you shop at smile.amazon. com and select Camp For All Foundation, Amazon donates a percentage of your purchases to us! SPR ING 2021 | CA M P FOR A LL | 3


Camps that come to Camp For All

Find your camp or recommend a camp to a friend or family member. Summer 2021 DATE CAMP May 27-30 Janus

NEED Children with burns

PARTNER Camp Janus

May 31-June 4 Sunrise

Teens with developmental challenges

Briarwood Tuttle School

June 20-25

Children with epilepsy

Epilepsy Foundation of Texas Houston/Dallas/Fort Worth

June 27-July 2 Camp That Love Built

Children and adults with spina bifida

Spina Bifida Association Houston Gulf Coast

July 4-9

Smiles

Children with cerebral palsy

Easter Seals of Greater Houston

July 11-16

X-Treme

Children participating in wheelchair sports

TIRR Foundation

July 11-16

Social Superheros

Children with social and learning differences

The Parish School

July 18-23

HOPE

Children with HIV and AIDS

AIDS Foundation Houston

July 25-30

Champions

Campers 10-60 with intellectual challenges

The Arc of Greater Houston

Aug 1-7 Periwinkle Family

Families affected by cancer or other life-threatening illnesses

The Periwinkle Foundation

Aug 8-13

Children and teens with kidney disease

Spike N Wave

Camp Shining Stars

Kidney Kamp Foundation *Please refer to www.campforall.org for schedule updates.

Fall 2021

DATE CAMP Sept 8-10 Bridgeprep

NEED School for children with learning differences

PARTNER Bridgeprep Academy

Sept 10-12

NF Camp

Families affected by neurofibromatosis

Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation

Sept 17-19

Be An Angel

Families that have a child with special needs

Be An Angel Fund, INC

Sept 22-23

CSA Sleepaway Camp

School for children with learning differences

Capitol School of Austin

Sept 24-26 Periwinkle’s Camp YOLO

Teens with life threatening illnesses The Periwinkle Foundation and their siblings

Sept 24-26 Periwinkle Family Camp

Families affected by cancer or other The Periwinkle Foundation life-threatening illnesses

Oct 1-3

MOST

Teens with disabilities

Oct 8-10

Periwinkle’s Long Term Survivors Teens and siblngs with life-threatening illnesses

The Periwinkle Foundation

Oct 22-24

Safe Haven Family Camp

MDPC Family Camp

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Oct 29-31

ARC of Greater Houston

Teens with developmental challenges

The ARC of Greater Houston

Nov 12 - 14

Duchenne Family Camp

Families affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

Easter Seals of Greater Houston

*Please refer to www.campforall.org for schedule updates.

HOW TO FIND THE CAMP FOR YOU: 1

Visit www.campforall.org

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2

Click the “Find Your Camp” button in the navigation bar

3

Select the category or categories that apply to you or your loved one

4

Contact the organization directly to sign up!


From Camper to Counselor to Camp For All Intern! MEET JUSTIN SPARKS

Q: Tell us a bit about you? A: My name is Justin Sparks and I grew up in Pearland, TX. I went to college at the University of North Texas and actually graduated a year and a half early. Q: How did you first discover Camp For All? A: Well, long story short, I was born with a bunch of heart problems. When I was around 8 years old, I was at the doctor’s office for a check-up and one of my doctors told me about Camp Pump It Up, who comes to Camp For All with Texas Children’s Hospital. Q: So you started off as a camper and now you are a Camp For All intern? A: Yes, I’ve actually been a camper and counselor with multiple Camp For All Partner organizations and a Camp For All staff member!

JUSTIN’S TIMELINE 2008-2012: CAMPER AT PUMP IT UP, TEXAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 2013-2018: CAMPER AT YOLO, THE PERIWINKLE FOUNDATION 2017: COUNSELOR FOR PUMP IT UP, TEXAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 2018-2019: COUNSELOR FOR PERIWINKLE, THE PERIWINKLE FOUNDATION 2019: SEASONAL STAFF AT CAMP FOR ALL 2020-Present: INTERN AT CAMP FOR ALL

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Q: How awesome that you’ve experienced Camp For All from so many different perspectives! How are those roles different and what did you like most about each one? A: Being a camper is super fun! I got to make friends and connect with other kids like me. Being a counselor was unique because you form such close connections with your specific group or cabin. Even though you might be attending a camp like I did with 180 campers, as a counselor you are focused on your 10 or so campers assigned to your cabin. Getting to truly know those 10 campers and form close bonds is incredible. Working as a Camp For All staff member, you really get to interact with everyone – campers, counselors, Partners, other Camp staff members – which I think is a blast! Being a part of the Camp For All staff has been my favorite of the three roles. Q: What is your favorite part about being on staff at Camp For All? A: I know this is going to sound cliché, but the campers. Being on staff at Camp For All has not only allowed me to interact with so many different Partners, but campers within those organizations. Being staff allows me to be helpful to as many people as possible and learn about different needs or challenges I wasn’t even aware of or focused on, previously.

Q: What have you learned during your internship here with Camp For All? A: While I have learned a lot of quantifiable things about the magic behind Camp For All such as how to interact with our Partners and why the details like choosing the right music really matters, I believe that the main thing has been overcoming adversity. Whether it be the longevity of COVID or the short (seemingly long) time of the freeze, being the intern has allowed me to overcome these challenges with a different mindset – one that is striving to create more magic for this incredible place. Q: Do you have one or a few personal favorite Camp activities? A: I will forever and always be a ropes guy. I love being out there helping kids up the climbing wall at the Tower, sending them through our High Ropes course, swinging them on the Giant Swing, you name it. It’s funny because when I first arrived at Camp For All when I was 8, I was terrified of the ropes. Now they can’t get rid of me! Lifeguarding at the pool and getting loose on the dance floor have always been very close seconds!

Q: What makes Camp For All special to you? A: Camp For All is so special to me because it changes lives. It changed mine. I became who I am, in large part, because of Camp For All. When I am working, interacting with our campers, I look at them and see myself when I was younger. Someone who comes to camp to find people and make friends like them, who will accept them for who they are and have an indescribable time while doing so. Any kid could go to camp for a summer and have a great time, but only a select few can go to a camp and it change their lives. That’s what we’re able to do here. Q: What are your future goals? A: I would love to go into special needs and medical based camping as it has done so much for me and my life. In terms of my overall goal, I want to do the same thing that Camp For All has managed to do for me and countless other campers throughout their time here – I want to change as many lives as I am able and allowed to. I love this niche and would like to stay in it for as long as I can.


Camper Quotes

“Camp For All is on par with a Make A Wish Trip!” “Thank you all for having a – SAFE HAVEN FAMILY CAMP DIRECTOR, MEMORIAL DRIVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

place where people like me can come and enjoy life!” – NATIONAL MS SOCIETY CAMPER

“Under the stars, something in me broke free. I realized that what was floating with the sparks wasn’t the virus or even the fear of it, but love and acceptance.” –SUZANNE GAROFALO, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Camp For All hosted our first ever virtual gala for Washington County and the greater-Camp area and it was a huge SUCCESS!

Supporters, both old and new, rallied together to raise nearly $220,000 to provide Camp For All with much needed financial support by purchasing raffle tickets, bidding on items (such as vacations to Texas getaways including Concan, Austin and Port O’Connor), and giving monetary gifts. To top off the night’s successes, the evening finished with special guests right on stage, Camp For All residents Glitter and Peter Pan, two miniature horses who helped the auctioneer. If you missed watching the gala live, you can visit the Camp For All YouTube page to watch. CHAIRS: Katie Alford, Mindy Merten and Jenny Schaer HONOREES: Michelle and Jonathan Zschech; Seidel Schroeder GUEST SPEAKERS: Robyn, Phil and McKenzie LaSagna FUNDS RAISED: nearly $220,000 6 | CAM P F O R A L L | S P R ING 2 0 21


Camp For All Goes Over The Edge! Grab your gear and get ready to rappel! Camp For All Goes Over The Edge is BACK in 2021! Join us Saturday, April 17 to rappel off of The Woodlands Tower at the Waterway, a 31-story office building formerly known as Hackett Tower and raise money for children and adults with challenging illnesses or special needs to attend Camp! With the Camp For All closure last summer, our campers need Camp this year more than ever. Sign up NOW and start raising money to help bring joy and hope to campers!! To sign up or donate visit

We hope you will join us on April 24, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate A Starry Night with Camp For All!

Co-Chairs

DAWN AND BRETT BERLY BROOKE AND JASON BERNHARDT

Underwriting Chair TOM BEHANICK

Honorees

CH ERYL AND JOSHUA SAMUELS THE MOST ENCHANTING

Virtual

E V E N I N G AWA I T S . . .

APRIL 24, 2021

The most enchanted evening awaits, and we look forward to spreading the love, laughter, hope and healing campers experience at Camp For All. Join us, virtually as we honor longtime Camp supporters, Cheryl and Joshua Samuels. When you join us for A Starry Night, you’ll experience a casual, fun, dazzling celebration AND support children and adults with cancer, autism, heart disease, renal challenges, muscular dystrophy, lost limbs, severe burns, cognitive challenges and so much more. To purchase a table, donate or learn more information visit

campforall.org/events

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NON-PROFIT ORG. US. POSTAGE

PA I D

3701 KIRBY DRIVE, SUITE 570 • HOUSTON, TEXAS 77098 6301 REHBURG ROAD • BURTON, TEXAS 77835

2021 CAMP FOR ALL BOARD OF DIRECTORS CH A IR

PATRICK SAMUELS MARION ANDERSON TOM BEHANICK BRETT BERLY JASON BERNHARDT JULIE BOUSHKA BETH CLARKE BOB DAVIS LYNDSAY FINCHER BOB FUNK STEVE GILBREATH SARAH HASTINGS MICHAEL LEWIS MICHAEL E. LEWTER STEPHANIE MAGERS MATT MOGAS MIKE ODEGARD STACIE PITTS ROBIN REED JOSHUA SAMUELS, M.D. LESLEY SCHICK SUSIE SMITH JULIE TAETZ ERIC WADE LESLYE WEAVER MARTHA WHITE DENA WREN EX O F F ICIO

KATIE DOWDELL KYLE MERTEN PAT PRIOR SORRELLS PETER WISMER EMERIT U S

PAUL GERSON, M.D. LAURENCE B. NEUHAUS ROBERT S. ZELLER, M.D. P R E SIDENT A ND CEO

PAT PRIOR SORRELLS GE N ERA L CO U NSEL

GARY W. MILLER

HOUSTON, TEXAS PERMIT NO. 10064

Camp For All needs your support to serve our campers each year. Every gift is important, and can make a huge impact on the lives of children and adults with special needs or challenging illnesses and their families. We are honored by the generosity of the compassionate and dedicated family of donors who make Camp For All possible with their kind support. MAKE A GIFT* To give a gift by credit card, visit www. campforall.org/donate. You can also send a check to Camp For All 3701 Kirby Drive, #570 Houston, TX 77098 MONTHLY GIVING Monthly donors are our “Energizers” each month! Visit www.campforall.org/donate to set up your monthly or quarterly gift of $10, $25 or $50. You can stop any time you need to.

MATCHING GIFTS Many employers will match your contributions to Camp For All. If you need supporting documentation to complete the match, please contact Mary Beth Mosley at mmosley@campforall.org. LEAVE YOUR LEGACY FOR CAMP FOR ALL Including Camp For All in your will can give the gift of joy, belonging and fun to thousands of campers, long after you are gone.

*If you would like to make a gift in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one, please let us know who should be notified about this special tribute.

MORE INFORMATION | If you have already planned a gift or designated Camp For All as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy or retirement account such as a 401k, or if you would like to make a gift of stock or talk to someone about a gift, please contact Development Director Mary Beth Mosley at 346-440-3036 or mmosley@campforall.org.

Follow us! Visit www.campforall.org or call 713.686.5666 for more information about donating, attending or volunteering!


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