Camp Ton-A-Wandah owners Billy and Judy Haynes know that not every youngster is able to participate in the age-old tradition of going off to summer camp — especially kids with cancer.
When the couple decided they wanted to give back to less fortunate children, they found the perfect opportunity — donating their property to Camp Merry Times, a five-day summer camp for kids stricken with the disease. But what they didn’t know is how much their generosity would pay off.
“At first I thought it would be really tough,” says Judy, “but they give more to us than we give to them.”
Founded by Barbra Vanthullinar, Camp Merry Times provides sick children and their siblings the opportunity to get away from medicine and hospital stays and enjoy five days of everything that Camp Ton-A-Wandah has to offer, from horseback riding to water sports to a ropes course and arts and crafts. With a one-on-one camper to counselor ratio, a full staff of volunteers, pediatric oncologists and a nursing staff, parents can rest assured their kids are in good hands. Camp Merry Times even provides a small stipend for parents to get away for an evening.
“What you find with kids with cancer is that it’s a family disease,” says Judy. “When the parents drop their kids off here they know it is a place where they will be safe.”