Where can kids with heart disease go kayaking, climb a rock wall and learn archery? Well, they can do all of this and more at Camp del Corazon on Catalina Island. My dear friend Matilda (not her real name) has been a volunteer with Camp del Corazon for 19 years, and this year I was fortunate enough to get to visit this camp for kids ages 7 to 17 awhile back. From the moment we stepped off the boat, we knew we were someplace special. The Big Kahuna (everyone has a camp name), who co-founded the camp with Xena aka Lisa Knight told us the heartwarming story of how the camp was founded and why. It was challenging to keep a dry eye.
But, seeing the joy on the boys and girl’s faces and the fun that they were having with their volunteer camp counselors, our empathy soon turned to excitement. The staff is manned and womanned by an all volunteer team of medical professionals, nurses and physicians, who dedicate their time to ensuring that all the camp’s fun activities are done in a safe and medically-monitored environment. With so many medical staff present, Camp is probably one of the safest places for these kids to be.
Camp is a special place and has brought lots of joy and many lasting friendships over the years. If you know of any kids who may be interested, please pass this along.