Summer Camps Help Kids Affected By Cancer

“I have had some unforgettable experiences at camp… during those weekends the people did not just become friends, they became part of my family. I would personally like to thank everyone who helps run this amazing camp. It changes lives!”   –   Kim (a former camper and future counselor)

Summer is just around the corner and while both kids and parents anxiously await a much-needed vacation, there are a few others who need something more… a break from the heart-wrenching challenges they face every day as a result of a family member who is battling, or who may have lost the battle, with cancer.

Angel On My Shoulder logo

Angel On My Shoulder is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that has established a number of cost-free camps in Wisconsin, both summer and year-round, that were designed to address the needs of young people whose lives have been affected by cancer through the illness or passing of a close family member (parent, sibling, or  grandparent).

Angel On My Shoulder weekend camps are funded through donations so that everyone who wants to attend may do so. They provide kids with an opportunity to meet others like themselves in a well-supervised atmosphere of understanding.

“When a family is affected by cancer, the focus has to be on the patient. Too often though there are children who are also experiencing loss or confusion,” said Lolly Rose, founder of Angel On My Shoulder. “That’s where Angel On My Shoulder comes in. We’re helping these kids feel good and have fun with others they can relate to; to see their faces light up again is an amazing feeling.”

Angel On My Shoulder campNew Campers get ready for a weekend of fun at Camp Angel

Angel On My Shoulder offers five different weekend camps for kids who have a close family member who is battling cancer:

  • Camp Angel is for kids ages 7-12
  • Camp Teen Angel is for teens ages 13-15
  • Camp Angel Adventures is for older teens ages 16-18
  • Camp Angel Adventures Extreme is for 16-18 year olds who want to experience more extreme activities
  • Camp Hozhoni is a family camp for families with a child 18 or younger who has cancer

The purpose of the camps is to give kids the chance to meet other kids who are in the same situation and give them the opportunity to participate in activities tailored to their age group that will provide many happy memories.

Summer camps include swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Winter camps feature snowshoeing, ice fishing, dog-sledding, and sleigh rides.

Angel On My Shoulder campDarci Sullivan (far right) enjoys a wet and wild ride at Angel Adventures

Angel On My Shoulder also sponsors two retreats for adults:  Angel Care and Healing Angels. Angel Care is for Cancer Caregivers and was created with the express purpose of giving cancer caregivers a respite from the often times grueling work of caring for a loved one with cancer. The retreats are held several times a year and provide activities such as yoga and discussion sessions to help these selfless individuals give back to themselves. Healing Angels is for cancer survivors who are in remission. The intent is to provide them with a weekend of mental, physical, and spiritual healing that will contribute to their growing sense of well-being.

Angel Care campSharing sessions provide comfort to caregivers at Angel Care retreats

“I am constantly inspired by the people I meet through Angel On My Shoulder, from donors and volunteers to those families whose lives we touch,” added Rose. “This community is quick to lend a hand and help one another and our organization is very thankful for that.”

To lean more about Angel On My Shoulder watch the video below or check out these links: programs, camps, and volunteering. My family frequently vacations in St. Germain, WI, and it’s a beautiful place—perfect for a getaway camp like this. Check out the upcoming dates for this summer!

This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Angel On My Shoulder to review this product.


Teach Your Children to Excel with the Power of Music

You can use the power of music to help a child with so many different things, including both educational and social growth. Music can help children develop hobbies and become a better-rounded individual. When words are difficult to comprehend or emotions are simply running too high, music is something that can soothe the soul and nurture common ground. As a parent, helping your child harness this creative energy and use it to build self-confidence is one of the most important things you can do.

“Music, the great communicator.” Red Hot Chili Peppers

Growing Up with a Musical Education

Teaching your children through music is one of the most effective ways to help them learn. It also helps them maintain a high level of attention and direct it toward whatever you’re teaching them at the time.

In a 2007 study, music education professor Christopher Johnson discovered that students who’d had more musical education received higher scores on standardized tests than those who didn’t. Moreover, musical training results in improved concentration and improved memory recall.

Many schools are lacking the necessary funding to offer deeply immersive musical education, but that doesn’t mean your child shouldn’t be encouraged to learn. You don’t have to rely on your child’s school to teach them, as there are many valuable places to learn online, such as

Social Development and Music

Even the most educated individuals struggle socially, but music can transcend this and help children grow to be more socially engaged with their peers. Music doesn’t know social constraints or boundaries. It is not bound by race, religion, or nationality, and it’s something all cultures produce. Once this common ground is established, it’s much easier to integrate into social situations and become part of the group.

Ask yourself how many times you’ve used music to connect with someone. It’s probably a lot. You’ve said, “Hey, I love this song!” And, someone else agrees. A friendship is formed. Your child is going to develop a taste in music, so nurture their tastes and encourage them to reach out to others who are musically inclined. Forever, they’ll have something to break the ice and get to know the people around them.

Music is an Essential Hobby

Everyone needs a good hobby or two. When the pressures of daily life becomes too much, music is able to relieve stress and it provides an outlet; whether, that’s simply listening or playing an instrument. Ask your child if they have an interest in vocal training or instrument lessons, and then help them foster this ability through lessons.

Music Creates Well-Rounded Individuals

Becoming a good person begins with childhood. Music is a great way to expose children to other cultures and help them display their talents. It’s a great way to get kids to learn how to work together and be creative. All of these things lend themselves to a more solid foundation, which will lead to a well-rounded and diverse future.

Final Thoughts

Music is truly a language anyone can speak. It’s innovative and it sparks creativity. It’s easy to see why music is universal and people share a common love of it. Of course, not everyone loves the same kind of music, but in some capacity every person has experienced it, interpreted it, and enjoyed it. Therefore, it’s the perfect way to help children discover their inner strengths and grow into successful adult human beings.

It’s better at the blue: Blue Harbor Resort, WI (coupon)

Written in partnership with US Family Guides & Blue Harbor Resort & Spa. Any opinions are my own.

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