Saturday, July 2, 2016

Camp Hobe

 Our kids had the fun and amazing opportunity to attend Camp Hobe again this year. They went last year for the first time. Last year the older four all went to Kids Week because they were within the age limits, but this year the age range changed so Daphne and Baron went to Kids Week together, Magnus went to Day Camp again (you have to be 6 years old to sleepover at Kids Week, so he will get to do that next year), and Jonah and Laylah were able to go to Teen Week. Oh my goodness, they all had just as much fun as they did last year. 

If you don't remember, Camp Hobe, is a camp for kids with cancer (either currently or in remission) and their siblings. It is a place for them to get away and be with other kids who completely understand the craziness that is cancer and the life that it brings along with it. They have so many special things that they do, but they are also there to just have FUN and be kids. The most incredible people volunteer their time to be counselors, CIT's, med shack volunteers, lifeguards, and cooks. Most, if not all of them, have had cancer touch their lives either by having had cancer as children themselves, or having a sibling with cancer. The medical professionals who take time off of work to come run the med shack and distribute meds (because kids who are currently battling cancer can attend with doctor permission as long as they are between chemo treatments) are often cancer unit nurses and doctors. It is just a one of a kind place. I have never felt the way I feel when I am there anywhere else. Everyone just GETS it. 

Daphne and Baron were the first to go and attend Kids Week. I took them a week after school got out bright and early on a Saturday morning. As soon as we pulled up and unloaded their stuff there was a counselor waiting and ready to get them laughing. 

I think she was telling them a hilarious joke here.

 Check-in is quite the ordeal, but they make it as smooth as possible.

 There is a facebook page for Camp Hobe and they update it all week with photos and happenings while the kids are gone. I screen shot this photo of Baron getting ready to ride the zipline.

After 5 days away it was time for them to come home and I went to the closing campfire to watch their last skit and check them out for another year.
 The theme this year was Hobelympics for the Olympic summer games, of course. Daphne's group was the sparkly seahorses from spain, or some crazy name like that.

 This is Baron's group. They were the German something-or-others. 

This is the very end when they sing the Camp Hobe song. It makes me cry every time. It's about holding memories close to you, especially the memories of people you love because they might not be there next year.

Daphne and her counselors

 Baron and his counselors
 They had such a fun week and can't wait to go back next year. Especially Daphne, because she will get to join Laylah and Jonah at Teen Week. And Magnus will get to join Bear at Kids Week!

 Magnus went to Day Camp two days in a row. Here he is with Ty, another little boy in our neighborhood who had cancer, but is also in remission.

 It must have been a great first day! His cute teddy there has a t-shirt on that says, 'Cancer Sucks'. Yes it does!

Here he is on the second day with his counselors and his whole group.
 On the way home the second day, proudly wearing his medals around his neck. He had so much fun and keeps saying, "And next year I will get to sleep over!"

Finally it was Teen Week and Laylah and Jonah got to have their turn. That is Zoey on the right, she is Ty's older sister (the one in the photo up there next to Mag)
 They were so excited for teen week because the teens have a lot more freedom in choosing their activities. They also get to learn to scuba dive and they get a hypnotist show!

Bye mom!

After a week without my big kids I went to pick them up and literally could not get laylah to leave. She just wanted me to follow her around and take photo after photo of her with her new friends and all of her amazing counselors. 

 She has a huge crush on that boy on the right.

Jonah just loved his counselors as well.
This is Smelliot. Elliot, really. He is everyone's FAVORITE and all the kids were so jealous that Jonah got him as a counselor.
JOnah made a new friend, Brendan. They were buddies in their cabin.

The older kids also do some way cooler crafts than the younger kids.
 These are Laylah's and below are Jonah's.

 So that was it for Camp Hobe this year. The kids could not love it more and they will be sad when they can't attend any more. The rule is that they can go for 3 years after the cancer kid finishes treatment, so next year is the last year they can attend barring any unforeseen circumstances. Laylah and jonah are already talking about wanting to be counselors there when they are older, and I think that would be just awesome. 

thank you, Camp Hobe, we love you!

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