Camp Got2Go let's kids focus on fun
Blayke Schumacher was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was seven, and in the middle of the pandemic. It was a difficult time for both Blayke and her family.
“I was working from home, and Blayke was so sick. We were locked down and there were very few resources for kids with Crohn’s,” said Morgan Schumacher, Blayke’s mom. “I found Camp Got2Go on the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada website and thought it would be a fantastic way for Blayke to meet others in a person-to- person, inclusive environment.”
Blayke attended camp in July of 2022 when she was nine. She was a little nervous at first, having never been away from family for an extended period before. “But when I got to camp that first day, I could see I was going to have a lot of fun.”
Camp Got2Go helps build confidence, fosters new relationships, encourages independence, and creates opportunities for self-discovery – and the activities are first-rate, according to Blayke.
“We got to do amazing things that a lot of kids don’t get to do, like having a water-fight and getting to spray real firefighters with water!” Blake said. “And I got to meet people like me who had the same disease – I’d never had that before. I’d always hidden my Crohn’s from most people. We shared crazy stories about our diagnosis and our hospital visits around the campfire. And I learned that you can get a scholarship just for having Crohn’s, which surprised me. But best of all, I was having so much fun, I totally forgot I had Crohn’s – it was one of the best experiences of my life!”
As a parent, Morgan was impressed and grateful, too. “The camp facilities were so clean and well- kept. We were given a tour when we arrived that settled all our concerns – there are nurses on-site 24/7 to help administer medications and monitor nutrition, and they called me half-way through camp to let us know how Blayke was doing. And after camp, Blayke talked non-stop about her experience. It was so wonderful to hear. I would encourage any parent to enroll their child – we’re certainly applying for next year!”
“It is truly amazing to see how quickly the campers bond and make friends. Watching them connect on similar experiences whether it be through humour or heartfelt conversations is the highlight of my experience as Camp Coordinator. The volunteers are also a huge part of the Camp Got2Go experience – they help make camp feel like a safe space, and it’s incredibly important that the campers have mentors with lived experience whom they can connect with and look up to.
- Emma Foran, Coordinator, Child and Youth Programs of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
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