Camp Rainbow’s Summer Camp wrapped up their program just over a week ago. Several NFTY teens and alumni volunteered to be counselors and staff members alongside cancer survivors and other volunteers from the St. Louis community. Many of us who serve as staff by helping to lead programming, supporting the counselors, and making sure all set-ups and clean-ups are complete, have been volunteering at Camp Rainbow since we were counselors in high school over 10 years ago. The week I’m able to spend at Camp Rainbow helps remind me to be grateful. I’m so honored to be part of the team that creates a week of a lifetime for children diagnosed with cancer and other blood related diseases. One of the most magical parts of camp is how people from so many different places come together to build this experience for children who may not be able to attend camp elsewhere. As the founder Allen Brockman says, “We come as individuals, we leave as a family.” Here are what some of the NFTY MV volunteers have to say about their week at camp:
As someone who has been a camper and a counselor at Camp Rainbow, there are truly no words to accurately describe the magic it creates for these kids with cancer and other blood related diseases. The week I spent at Camp Rainbow was one of the best weeks of my life, and seeing the smile on the kids faces when you are hanging out with them is unlike anything else one can experience. Camp Rainbow lets these kids get away from their harsh realities and be a real kid for a week. To quote one of my favorite campers, “Disneyland is using false advertising, they aren’t the happiest place in the world. Camp Rainbow is.”
NFTY MV SPC 2018-2019
NFTY MV President 2019-2020
The experience I had at Camp Rainbow was unlike anything I have ever had before. Many of the campers there, some half my age, taught me so much about resilience and gratitude. I loved being part of organization that makes it possible for kids with cancer or other blood related diseases or disorders to experience the joys of summer camp. I am already looking forward to helping out next summer.
NFTY MV SPC 2019-2020
Camp Rainbow is a critically important experience for campers because it may be one of the few opportunities they have to just be a kid, as well as to make friends with and relate to others who understand what they’re going through. As I’m sure any member of NFTY MV can understand, community is so, so important; a sense of belonging among sympathetic peers is an incredibly powerful feeling. It inspires unity, strength, and empowerment, often without us even realizing it. Camp helps provide this for all campers—it creates a second family, a second home, and a lot of happiness.
NFTY MV President 2012-2013