Last week was spring break for millions of kids across the country. While many raced to the beach for sun, suds and shenanigans, others headed to the slopes to catch the blustery end of a great ski season. Among those snow bunnies were 20 very special young adults from Oklahoma… The Cavett Kids.
Ski Camp. The name alone conjures up all kinds of thoughts and feelings, doesn’t it? For these teenagers who are battling cancer, though, Ski Camp has a meaning much deeper than most of us could ever imagine. As one of six camps the Cavett Kids Foundation puts on each year, Ski Camp gives 20 young adults a chance to go to Winter Park, CO, for a well-deserved week of fun in the snow.
Accompanied by the same doctors and nurses who help them battle their various types of cancer, the kids spend their days learning to ski, and their evenings learning about each other. “It’s a big bonding experience for these kids,” says Jenny Rodgers, a Cavett Kids staff member and former camper. “It’s tough to be a teenager anyway, but many of these kids have image issues, too. This gives them a chance to connect.”
Each night during the camp, the young adults boot out the doctors, nurses and other volunteers so they can bond with each other. “This connection is the most powerful part of it,” Jenny said. “They are all going through the same thing and in talking with each other, they find that they fit in. The group says, ‘We get it. We understand.’”
The transformation these kids go through during the week at Ski Camp is amazing. “They are different kids than when they left,” says Jenny. “While there, each camper writes a letter about what the camp means to them and it’s incredible to see these phrases appear over and over:”
I feel normal for once.
I’m not an outcast.
People get me.
In addition to the six camps the Cavett Kids Foundation organizes each year for children with a variety of illnesses, they also host many special events and have created a Diversionary Play Program at the University of Oklahoma Children’s Physicians. The foundation hopes to expand this program throughout Oklahoma to help over 65,000 patients, siblings and parents each year.
The Cavett Kids Foundation does not charge the patients or their families for any of their programs. “They have plenty of medical bills to worry about,” said Jenny. “They don’t need to worry about this, too!” Instead, the group relies on generous donations, both cash and in-kind, from companies and individuals who want to make a difference in these children’s lives. You can help, too.
ROBYN Promotions donated hoodies to the Ski Camp and helps supply campers with other apparel throughout the year. As many of our friends know, ROBYN’s CEO, Bobby Lehew, has witnessed first-hand how helpful this organization is. You can read more on the ROBYN blog.
And... check out this awesome video the group made during the week.
Posted on Mon, March 25, 2013
by Brian Blake