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MORE THAN JUST A SUMMER CAMP

A Safe Haven for Youth Battling Medical Conditions and connect with others who share similar experiences

Nestled in the serene nature of Fairfield, Idaho, Camp River Run provides a magical escape for four days every year for children facing life’s most challenging circumstances, running this year from July 20th to the 23rd. The camp is a sanctuary of hope and healing for kids dealing with medical conditions, developmental disabilities, and other obstacles that can make life difficult.

Founded over a decade ago, Camp River Run has evolved into a thriving community that provides a transformative experience for campers and volunteers alike. From kayaking to archery to arts and crafts, the camp offers a wide range of activities that help campers build self-confidence, develop new skills, and create lasting memories.

At Camp River Run, every camper from ages 7 to 17 is welcome, regardless of their background, abilities, or challenges. The camp strives to create a safe, inclusive environment where children can connect with others who share similar experiences and find support and encouragement from staff and volunteers. Every camper is assigned their own counselor who is attuned to their unique needs and limitations. With this one-on-one support, campers can enjoy a fun, memorable, and — most importantly — safe camp experience.

Amanda Stone, the executive director at Camp River Run, states, “We have these whole planning sessions and make sure that the activities are inclusive for everybody. The point of camp is to push kids a little bit outside of their comfort zones, the same as a regular summer camp, because we want the kids to learn and grow the same as a child who attends a typical summer camp would.”

Blake is just one of the many children whose life was transformed by Camp River Run. Living with severe allergies to a range of foods, particularly eggs, Blake’s everyday existence is a constant struggle. He is used to watching his friends eat food he cannot have or being forced to eat in isolation to avoid cross-contamination. But at Camp River Run, everything changed. When asked about his favorite part of camp, Blake’s face lit up as he told his mother, “Mom, I got to sit there with my friends and eat s’mores.”

Although Blake eats s’mores often, this experience was unique to him. For once, he was able to enjoy the simple pleasure of sharing a treat with his peers without fear or exclusion. As Amanda points out, “Just the simple things for kids are the biggest deal. And we don’t think of those kinds of things, because we get to do it.”

Camp River Run’s impact on medically challenged children like Blake is truly profound. By providing a regular camp experience, it allows them to enjoy the kind of fun and freedom that many of us take for granted. In this way, Camp River Run truly makes a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

The volunteers and staff at Camp River Run are the lifeblood of the organization, bringing a wealth of experience, compassion, and enthusiasm to their work. Every one of them is certified in both CPR and first aid, ensuring the campers are safe and receive the personalized support that they need. They are dedicated to making every moment at the camp special for the kids, and their efforts are evident in the joy and laughter that fills the air.

At Camp River Run, every child’s unique needs and abilities are taken into account. With the help of dedicated volunteers, campers are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and engage in new activities. As Amanda explains, “We need volunteers who can be an instant best friend to our campers. We need somebody who can encourage our campers but not push them into being uncomfortable.” With this kind of support, children can feel confident to participate and enjoy their time at camp.

Camp River Run is more than just a camp — it’s a place where dreams come true, where kids can forget their troubles and simply be kids, and where everyone is welcome with open arms. Camp River Run has had a profound impact on the lives of its campers, providing them with a sense of belonging, community, and hope for the future. For those who want to get involved or learn more about the camp’s programs, volunteering, or donating, the website offers more information and opportunities to get involved: campriverrun.org.

"Just the simple things for kids are the biggest deal. And we don’t think of those kinds of things, because we get to do it.”

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