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What is Camp Hope? 

Camp Hope is a partnership with the National Pancreas Foundation and Rebecca’s Wish to provide a summer camp experience for campers with pancreatitis (acute, chronic, post-TPIAT). Campers will be able to have a true camp experience, meet other campers all while staying safe under the guidance and care of an onsite medical and psychosocial team.

What Is Flying Horse Farms?

The mission of Flying Horse Farms is to make it possible for children with serious illnesses to heal, grow, and thrive. Flying Horse Farms is located in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, and will be hosting our 2022 Camp Hope. Flying Horse Farms is one of many camps under the SeriousFun Network whose mission is to empower children with serious illnesses and their families to reimagine what is possible by creating inclusive camp and recreational experiences, inspiring confidence and joy, and building community and connection.

Who is eligible to come to camp?

Campers who are 8-15 years old can attend.

How much does it cost to come to camp?

There is no cost to attend Camp Hope. All lodging and meals are provided. Financial assistance for campers is available.

Can I stay at camp or visit my child?

We encourage campers to build friendships with other campers, therefore, parents and family members are not allowed to stay at camp, but may feel free to stay close by. The National Pancreas Foundation and Rebecca’s Wish will be providing a preferred and discounted hotel in Columbus if a parent or caregiver wishes to stay close for the week. Also, we highly discourage visits and phone calls to camp. This ensures that our campers are able to focus on having a blast.

Can parents volunteer at Camp Hope? 

While parents can volunteer, this is discouraged as we want the campers to feel independent.

How will I know if my child has been accepted to camp?

After the Flying Horse Farms medical staff looks over the application and approves it, they will send you a confirmation packet via e-mail. It will include the date of your child’s camp session, as well as some forms for you to send back or bring with you to camp. The packet will also include a packing list, driving directions and other important information. Applications are due by March 25th, caregivers will be notified by mid-April of acceptance.

Do you provide transportation?

Flying Horse Farms does not provide transportation, but the National Pancreas Foundation and Rebecca’s Wish will help coordinate transportation to and from the airport for those campers taking a flight to camp. We will work with you individually to make sure your camper is safe and taken care of and will provide all the necessary information to communicate with the NPF Team once campers have arrived at the airport. Communication with caregivers and the Camp Hope team will start in April.

What time should we arrive? When will we depart?

Camp Hope campers will be assigned a specific arrival time on July 8th. This time, along with the pick-up time for the last day of camp, will be in the confirmation packet you will receive before camp. If your child needs to arrive late or leave, please contact carrie@pancreasfoundation.org. We will be onsite the day before, during camp, and day after to take great care of all of campers.

Where will my child be staying?

The camp experience wouldn’t be the same without cabins! Typically, up to 10 campers will share a cabin along with up to four counselors (in semi-private sleeping quarters). With two bathrooms (2 toilets and 2 fully accessible showers in each), heating, air conditioning, electrical outlets, and bunk beds, our cabin accommodations are comfortable yet modest. We provide all linens, blankets and towels, too. Cabin assignments are based on age and gender. Each cabin also has refrigerators for snacks and any medication.

What does a typical day look like?

A typical schedule might go something like this:

7:00 am—Rise and Shine!
8:30 am—Breakfast
10:15 am—Morning activities 12:30 pm – Lunch
1:30 pm—Rest time
2:30 pm—Afternoon activities
5:00 pm—Back to cabins to get ready for dinner
5:30 pm—Dinner
7:00 pm—Evening program
9:00 pm—Younger campers head back to the cabins for lights out
10:00 pm—Older campers head back to the cabins for lights out

Will I be able to give counselors more information about my child?

 Absolutely! After signing in on the first day of camp, you can walk with your camper to their assigned cabin to help them get settled in and meet the counselors and volunteers who will be spending the week with your child. Feel free to ask questions, get to know the counselors and help them get to know your child as well.

If your child will be flying to Columbus alone, the National Pancreas Foundation staff (Carrie Anderson and Sokphal Tun) will talk with you individually prior to camp to make sure we collect all the details and take great care of your child.

What type of medical attention and medical staff will be provided onsite at camp?

We have nurses, doctors, and other medical staff onsite during the duration of the camp. The pancreatitis physician for Camp Hope is Dr. Melena Bellin from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Sandeep Patel from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. We have RNs from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. Your camper will be truly getting world-class care!

Are cell phones allowed at camp?

We want all our campers to be fully engaged at camp and live in the moment, so we discourage the use of cell phones. We do not want campers checking their phones but they can use their phones for medical purposes or if approved by the counselor. Campers with diabetes, they are able to carry their cell phones.

Will there only be pancreatitis campers there? 

Camp Hope is part of GI Week and most of the pancreatitis campers (50) will make up GI week, but there will be other campers with GI issues as well (IBD, liver disease/transplant, short bowel syndrome, etc).

Can I stay at a nearby hotel or in Columbus while my child is at camp?

Yes, that is a great option if you would like to stay close for the week.  The National Pancreas Foundation and Rebecca’s Wish are working on a discounted hotel in Columbus and will share that with any caregiver wanting to stay close for the week. There is not a good hotel option in Mt. Gilead, Ohio.

If my child is flying alone to Columbus, how will my child be cared for?

Most airlines have great child assistance programs where you can pay a fee to allow your minor to travel alone. The airline will make sure they are safe, comfortable and have a positive flying experience every step of the way.  National Pancreas Foundation staff will greet your child at the airport and get them to and from camp. If you choose this option, National Pancreas Foundation staff will work with you individually on the details.

What if my child has special dietary needs?

Flying Horse Farms is seasoned at meeting the medical and dietary needs of children with various medical conditions. They understand many children have special dietary needs. They have refrigeration available for medications. Campers can bring their own food if necessary.  Flying Horse Farms also provides a wide variety of food for each meal and lists the nutritional value for every food option.

What if my child needs to rest and take a break from activities for a bit? 

We understand that our pancreatitis kiddos may get tired and not be able to attend all activities. If a camper needs time to rest, two volunteers will take them to the WellNest (the infirmary) where they can rest. The WellNest is equipped with very comfortable and cozy bunkbeds for campers to sleep.

What are some adaptations available for campers? 

Flying Horse Farms has been hosting campers with special needs for over 10 years. The following are just some of the adaptions provided.

What if I need financial assistance for travel? 

The camp itself is free and funded by the National Pancreas Foundation and Rebecca’s Wish.  If you need travel financial assistance, stipends are available.  Please apply to camp and we will reach out after you apply to fill out a financial assistance request form.

I am nervous to send my child to camp, will they have a good time?

The National Pancreas Foundation and Rebecca’s Wish are so excited to offer this free camp to children and young people. We want children with pancreatitis to experience camp and have the best week of their lives. Not only will they have a ton of fun, but they will have an opportunity to connect with other children going through a similar journey.  We can’t wait to see the smiles on these kids in July at Flying Horse Farms.