Friday, August 5, 2011

Camp Rainbow Gold is a camp adventure

Kids with cancer forget about troubles


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Express photo by Sabina Dana Plasse The Falcon Nest campers at Camp Rainbow Gold finish their raid of candy and surprises at the girls’ cabin.

It all begins with a motorcycle escort through the Wood River Valley delivering kids with cancer to a place of fun and hopefulness otherwise known as Camp Rainbow Gold. Camp Rainbow Gold is a summer camp for kids with cancer at Cathedral Pines, north of Ketchum. The camp, which is celebrating its 27th year, began Sunday, July 31. This year 43 campers are enjoying life on the S.S. Rainbow cruise ship where every day is a new port-o-call.

"The kids wake up every morning and don't know where they are," said Jaime Rivetts camp director. "We have been to Hawaii, China and under the sea. All the food and activities have themes centered around the country."

The Camp Rainbow Gold oncology camp is all about discovery and outdoor fun, including ice skating, swimming, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, dancing, storytelling, laughing, painting, creating, dreaming, memory-making and living.

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"The kids are into the idea of being a new place every day," she said. "Every day I hear all day, 'Can we do this?"

Rivetts said campers have a lot to deal with, including the financial pressures of having cancer. Camp Rainbow Gold is a relief for them.

Having a great relief this year are the 11- to 12 year-old campers of Falcon Nest. Enjoying what all campers at a sleep-away camp love to do, these boys organized a stealth raid on the girls' cabin. Candy was spread throughout their beds and the cabin was decorated with toilet paper.

"It's a surgical strike," said a Falcon Nest camper. "We are raiding."

Despite the fact a carnival was rained out and a camper had to be life-flighted due to sickness, Camp Rainbow Gold is still a sanctuary where sickness is on hold for at least a week.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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