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Cancer camp celebrates 20-year anniversary

Campers gathered for rock climbing
Noah Farley
Campers gathered for rock climbing

SWAN VALLEY, Idaho (KIFI) - Camp Magical Moments, a free camp for kids who have or have had cancer, is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this week.

The campers get to forget their worries about cancer and do activities like art projects, martial arts training, and rock climbing.

Heather Olsen, the camp’s director, has seen how far the camp has come. She’s been a part of it since 2006.

“When you start out as a small little nonprofit organization, you hope you can make a difference and you hope you can grow," she said. "But to actually get there and see the difference you're making is fabulous!”

Olsen says the camp is combining all its themes from the first 19 years to celebrate the milestone.

“So it's Blast from the Past, and we've kind of decorated with [decorations] from all of our themes from the previous years. And we're doing favorite activities from themes from previous years just to, you know, throw it to the past.”

Camp Magical Moments is a special place for the campers.

“I have a bunch of friends, people I know from school that come here,” said camp participant, Sawyer.

“The connections you build in the week is crazy,” previous camp participant, Olive said.

Olive is one of the participants who loved Camp Magical Moments so much, they come back as volunteers when they’re older.

“The people is what brings me back, and coming back as a volunteer might even be better than being a camper,” she said.

The camp is full of fun, but also allows people to reflect. One of the most special places at the camp is its Garden of Angels.

“It’s where we come to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away…most of the time from their cancer. Some of them don't survive, unfortunately. Our middle ring with the engraved rocks is our rocks representing those who have passed away.”

To learn more about Camp Magical Moments and how to help, click here.

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Noah Farley

Noah is a reporter for Local News 8.


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