A co-ed residential summer camp for children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis!
Our 2015 session will be held at YMCA Camp Colman in Longbranch, WA from June 21st - 27th
for campers (grades 2-10), Leaders in Training (grades 11-12), and volunteers (age 18+).
Applications will be available mid January 2015!
Questions? Please contact Kathleen Newbould
(425) 451 - 8455 Ext. 6 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to our program supporters!
Flight to Mars & The Wishlist Foundation, The McCready Family, Muckleshoot Charity Fund, Janssen Biotech, McEachern Foundation, The Everett Clinic Foundation.
And thank you to our Community Partner: YMCA Camp Colman!
FAQ for Parents
What is CCFA Camp Oasis?
Camp Oasis is a co-ed residential summer camp program run by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Camp Oasis is one of many quality programs CCFA offers. To learn more about CCFA activities in your area, visit www.ccfa.org/chapters/northwest.
Where is Camp Oasis held?
Our camp is held at YMCA Camp Colman in Longbranch, WA, on the Olympic Peninsula. We have been running our program there since 2009.
How old are the kids that attend Camp Oasis?
We serve campers entering grades 2-10 in the school year beginning in Fall 2015. Those entering 11 and 12 participate as part of our special Leaders in Training (LIT) Program.
What is the LIT Program?
The Leaders in Training (LIT) Program is a leadership development program for those entering grades 11 and 12 in Fall 2015. It runs for the duration of our session, and combines the fun of camp with additional age-appropriate responsibilities and leadership building activities. Everyone entering grades 11 and 12 must apply as LITs; all individuals of this age must participate in the LIT program to attend Camp Oasis.
Where are the attendees from?
Our camp serves children from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.
How does the camper application process work?
Once applications are available in mid-January, the first part of the camper application should be submitted on-line at http://www.ccfa.org/get-involved/camp-oasis/. From there, applicants will receive a confirmation email along with some paper application forms that must also be completed and mailed in by Monday, April 28, 2015 in order to be considered for attendance. Your child’s spot is not held until these additional papers have been received—the online application is only the first part of the application. Space is limited and our camp does fill up each year so we encourage you to complete your application early. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact us for a hard copy application.
Is there on-site medical care?
Yes! Our camp has a 24-hour on-site Health Hut, staffed by physicians, nurses, and mental health professionals experienced in working with IBD patients. The Health Hut is run by our Medical Co-Directors, Ghassan Wahbeh, MD and Teresa Wachs, RN. All medical care, including the distribution of camper medication, is handled through the Health Hut.
Who else serves on staff?
Our camp is run by YMCA Camp Director Megan Finnie, who works closely with the local CCFA staff to create a fun and meaningful experience for our campers. She is joined by a team of fantastic bunk counselors and activity specialists. Each cabin has at least one counselor who is an adult volunteer with IBD, who has experience working with kids. A lot have worked at Camp Oasis before and some have even attended as campers. All are carefully screened and trained to ensure a safe and comfortable setting.
What do campers do all day?
We try to ensure that every day brings opportunities to try new things, make memories with friends, and just have FUN. A typical day includes several activity periods (swimming, art, team sports, etc.) and an evening activity (campfire, talent show, scavenger hunt, etc.), as well as three meals, a snack, and time to relax in the cabin. The result? Lots of smiles. New friends. Increased confidence.
What are the cabins, bathroom facilities, and meals like?
At Camp Oasis, we want the kids to focus on having fun, so we provide comfortable enclosed cabins that are equipped with sanitary bathroom and shower facilities. We also ensure there are bathrooms located throughout camp for easy access all day, and strive to provide IBD-friendly meal and snack options. Those campers on very restricted diets may bring food to be stored in the kitchen.
Can I see what camp looks like for myself?
Because of our host site’s busy schedule, we cannot guarantee on-site visits, but you are welcome to contact the YMCA and inquire. You are also welcome to visit their website at www.seattleymca.org/Locations/Colman. We have photos we’d be happy to share. Please let us know if you’re interested.
Can I volunteer on-site at camp if my child attends?
One of the most important outcomes that our campers experience is an increased sense of independence. To foster that outcome, we do not allow parents of campers to serve as camp counselors. If your camper is anxious about attending without you, please contact us. We’d be happy to provide you with some additional information that may help alleviate that anxiety. Additionally, if you are interested in helping with some pre-camps tasks around the office, please let us know.
Can I talk to my child during camp?
Due to the nature of our schedule, campers cannot receive unplanned phone calls, but letters and emails are always welcome. We distribute them to campers daily. Additionally, you may send your child with self-addressed stamped envelopes, as there will be time each day for letter writing. If your child is anxious about being away from home without speaking with you by phone, please contact us. We’d be happy to provide you with some additional information that may help alleviate that anxiety.
Is transportation provided?
At this time, we ask that all parents drop their child off at camp. We are in the process of creating ways to assist campers who have a long way to travel. More details will be provided as we have them. CCFA cannot facilitate carpools among families, but we are happy to put you in contact with other families in your area if you wish to set up a carpool plan to or from camp. Travel assistance is available for campers traveling from Anchorage, Boise, and Billings. Please contact Kathleen at email@example.com to learn more.
What does my child need to bring to camp?
Just the basics: active clothes and footwear, toiletries, and linens or a sleeping bag. But don’t worry, we’ll send you a complete packing list before camp, along with lots of other information, if your child is accepted.
Are there ways I can support CCFA and Camp Oasis?
Yes! To learn more about the many ways you can help further CCFA’s mission, please contact us.
What if my question hasn’t been answered here?
We are happy to answer any questions you may have, so please don’t hesitate to contact Kathleen Newbould, Regional Education & Support Manager at 425-451-8455/toll free: 877-703-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I apply to be a volunteer?
In mid- to late-January, when camper applications become available, our volunteer applications will also become available. You will apply online at http://www.ccfa.org/get-involved/camp-oasis/. Communication regarding next steps will be sent to you via email. All on-site volunteers must pass a background check and complete a phone interview with our Staffing Director.
What are the positions available?
We have two types of on-site volunteers: cabin counselors and medical staff.
Cabin counselors must be at least 18 years old and have experience working with children. There is at least one volunteer cabin counselor in each cabin. The volunteers work in teams with YMCA staff (usually 1-2 per cabin) throughout the week.
Cabin counselors are required to arrive the morning of Saturday, June 21, which is the day before campers arrive. This day is full of trainings and orientations to prepare for the week. Counselors must stay for the duration of camp, through midday Saturday, June 28. We do not allow partial weeks for counselors, to keep things consistent for the kids.
This is a hands-on, full time job with a busy schedule. Counselors must be medically stable and in good physical shape for walking around camp all day. Counselors have at least one hour "off duty" each day.
Medical staff needed are licensed registered nurses, doctors, and mental health specialists with experience working with children living with IBD.
Medical staff are allowed to come for half of the week or the entire week, but not for less than two full days to limit the number of trainings our staff must do and so that the kids can become familiar with the medical staff. Those coming for the start of the week must arrive the morning of Sunday, June 22. The medical staff typically has a bit of down time throughout the day. There is wireless internet and landline phone access for their use.
We also need additional medical staff, specifically RNs, to assist with camp check in on Sunday, June 22. These volunteers are welcome to come just for the afternoon to help. All volunteers need to apply online to be considered.
YMCA Camp Colman