The cancer experience does not stop at remission. Survivors not only have to deal with the physical repercussions of their cancer, but also the mental and emotional trauma. In many cases the side effects of treatment do not appear until many years after remission, making the cancer experience a life long journey.
The physical illness is the first concern when diagnosing and treating cancer patients. Medical advancements have widely increased the number of survivors of this disease. What is often overlooked is the consideration of the whole person and what their quality of life is once diagnosed.
Cancer is isolating and overwhelming, particularly for children who do not necessarily have the tools to cope. Childhood has its own difficulties without the life altering effects of cancer. Here at Camp Anuenue we believe our program is vital in providing a community of understanding and support where children can heal together. We hope that this experience will provide the encouragement and confidence to not let cancer restrict or define their lives.
Camp Anuenue is open to children ages 7-18 who have or have had cancer and live in Hawaii (all islands). We also accept children from U.S. territories in the Pacific including Guam, Saipan, Samoa and Marshall Islands. We have campers who are in active treatment as well as long time survivors who continue to receive medical attention from our doctors and nurses.
It is a privilege to say that the majority of our staff who attended as campers throughout their childhood now give back as volunteer counselors. As an independent non-profit, Camp Anuenue is now operated on a 100% volunteer basis with each position from counselor to director or board member being filled by an unpaid, dedicated individual who is passionate about the program.
For 33 years Camp Anuenue has been located on the beautiful North Shore of Oahu. The grounds of Camp Mokule'ia provide a peaceful backdrop for a magical weeklong experience.
After waking up in a beachside cabin, campers spend the day participating in activities of their choice ranging from swimming in the pool or ocean, flying down the zipline to harnessing their creative energy at arts and crafts. The environment encourages events that strengthen relationships including: singing songs around the campfire, spending mealtimes together in the cafeteria and engaging all age groups in Ohana team building exercises.
Although fun is the primary focus of the week, there are times when the very real and difficult emotions need to be addressed. The serene atmosphere of Camp Mokule'ia is one of the best environments for these therapeutic moments. The emotional benefits are obvious when reflecting on an activity like our memorial campfire where we remember past campers who have lost their lives. While sad in nature, these serious times allow our campers and staff to build lifelong bonds in one short week.