Message from Our President
Message from the President
I once heard someone say, “If childhood cancer is a club, the initiation is terrible but going to camp and meeting the other club members is wonderful.” That was true in 1982, when COCA-I was founded, and it’s just as true today. For more than 30 years, COCA-I has helped its member camps celebrate and enhance that benefit by providing education, advocacy, and networking opportunities to its nearly 100 member camps. We’ve done that through our annual conference, our website resources, and our heavily-trafficked list serve.
I’ve personally attended and enjoyed COCA-I’s annual conferences since 1987 and each time I’m amazed at how much oncology camping professionals and volunteers have in common (including our war stories) and how much more there always is to learn. At our 2012 conference in San Antonio, we awarded the second annual “Gold Ribbon Camp” awards to camps who were following voluntary best practices in oncology camping. In the two years the program has been in operation, 30 camps have been recognized and they now proudly display their Gold Ribbon Camp flags at each of their respective camps. In the near future, COCA-I will begin the assessment stage of a research study that has asked thousands of oncology campers about the impact that camp has had on their lives. The results of that study will fortify and validate the anecdotal proof that many of us have shared for years: that sometimes camp really is the best medicine!
COCA-I’s mission is to be a go-to resource for oncology camp professionals and volunteers and a source of inspiration to all. I hope you’ll use our website to learn more about our services and resources, share what you know and what you need, and help increase awareness of the vital role that camp plays in carrying pediatric patients and their families through such a very difficult time in their lives.
Thank you for your interest in and commitment to children with cancer and their families.
Dave Smith Read more...