Camp Kids Are Kids Chicago: Summer Camp for Pediatric Cancer Patients

For children battling cancer, carefree summer fun can be hard to come by.  The children’s health must be tended to with high caution and constant care. For these children, activities like sleep-away summer camp seem impossible- muggy, buggy cabins in the woods are probably not conducive to doctors’ orders.

Thanks to Camp Kids are Kids Chicago (CKAKC), children with cancer get the chance to truly be kids at no financial obligation to the children’s families. For one week in August, the non-profit gives dozens of pediatric cancer patients the chance to experience the magic of campfire songs and bunk beds. Serving kids ages 8-16, the summer camp is held in The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, where luxurious five-star suites are converted into cabin rooms with bunk beds. Unlike typical summer sleep-away camps, the camp provides trained nurses who are on call for the kids 24/7.

In January 2015, campers from CKAKC’s inaugural session (August 2014) had a reunion back at The Ritz. The children were able to reconnect and reminisce on their camp experience, and discuss this summer session’s theme, “Game On!”

Blaine J. Blanchard, founder of CKAKC, says he was thrilled to see the same positive energy come back to life at the camp reunion.

Founder Blaine J. Blanchard and Vice President Tom Segesta

“It was as though we never parted ways,” he said. “Watching the kids reunite and seeing a sea of smiles across the room was truly heartwarming.”

This summer, campers will enjoy swimming, campfires, cookouts, arts and crafts and other traditional camp activities, and also take advantage of their urban location. Last year, the kids explored the city with a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan, a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry and a nighttime ice cream party at the top of the John Hancock Center.

CKAKC is back in session August 9 through 13. The camp will host 32 children.

To learn more, visit their website here.

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