by Chuck Jones
Resting, planning, preparing, recruiting. That's where we are this
month of May with our Stroke Camps. We have no camps scheduled for May
but we have two camps coming up in June and both of them are on the same
weekend. Now, how did that happen? It's easy. Campsites are not easy to
schedule and book. There is a big demand for these sites from all over
the country by all different organizations. We are just one of many.
must book a site a year in advance to secure one and we must make a
substantial deposit to hold that site for the year. This deposit is at
risk because how can we book a site if we don't know if there will be a
sponsor or even if campers are available? Well, you begin to appreciate
our challenge. Basically, we have to get a commitment from a sponsor and
take whatever campsite is available after that. Keep in mind, these
sites must be comfortable and handicap friendly for our stroke
This is one of the sites we were able to book last year near Lincoln, Nebraska.
We must find sponsors around these fifty
states, meet with them, and obtain a commitment. Our financial resources
are very limited so we can't schedule a camp without this commitment
from a sponsor. We also work with these sponsors to identify potential
campers. At the time of this writing our sponsors have been hospitals
and other medical institutions. They operate as a business as we do so
they have a budget just like we do, only on a different scale, of
course. Nevertheless, we have to get on their budget in order to get
funding before we can even begin booking one.
ask how we find campsites. That is a challenge in itself. We do a lot
of searching ourselves to identify viable sites. Some recommendations
come from the sponsors or by interviews with their staff. The internet
is a useful tool for this, also. State Parks and Recreation sources are
good places to start. When a list of site candidates is developed the
sites must be visited by our team to ensure they meet our standards.
that take a lot of traveling to meet with sponsors and visit campsites,
you may ask. Oh, yes. We have very dedicated people who do this and do
this without any fanfare. This is one of the things that make our camps
great. It's the people who are dedicated to help make the life of
someone else better, even if it is for only one short weekend a year.
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