Family matters. And camp matters to families all around the country, and the world, like Kadee Troop's. Four of Kadee's six children live with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a connective tissue disorder that affects their skin and mucosal tissue. “There's so many things we can't do," Kadee said, "But my kids, also, are just regular kids. It's hard to watch four kids be sick, and four kids struggle with their health and fight — fight to find normalcy. It's hard, as a parent, to watch that.”
And Kadee isn't alone. When a child faces a serious illness, it bears enormous weight on those close to them. Feelings of stress, isolation, and helplessness so often accompany health challenges. Worry, too, can become a constant companion even in moments of improved health out of fear of relapse or regression. In moments of poorer health, the doctor's visits, hospital stays, and regular care can be all-consuming. That's why the community, reprieve, and understanding found at camp is invaluable for everyone involved.
Here's a glimpse into what camp means to children, siblings, and parents facing some of life's toughest challenges, as told by Kadee herself.
The Troop family attends Roundup River Ranch, the SeriousFun camp in Colorado. There are 30 SeriousFun camps and programs in total, and like Roundup, many offer family programming throughout the fall and spring seasons.
Always free of charge, Family Weekend programs provide time and space for families to rebuild bonds. Parents have the opportunity to forge adult connections with those going through similar experiences. Children who are so often told "no, you can't" can rediscover their confidence, reclaim their independence, and renew their sense of hope. After all, camp is about "yes, you can!" That goes for siblings too. They're free to bond, relax, and play in an all-inclusive environment focused on one thing and one thing only: good, old-fashioned fun.
Kadee says it's hard to find the kind of space where all of her family members are welcomed and loved in equal measure. Thankfully, for the Troops and thousands of others families around the world, camp is just the spot.
Sarah loves all things s'mores (there are a lot of varieties out there) and helps tell the story of SeriousFun through digital marketing. She leads the charge of content creation at the Support Center.
To learn more about SeriousFun camps and programs, get involved in an upcoming session, or help make a difference for families like Kadee's, visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.