The camp helps children as young as 6 years old who are battling blood disorders and cancer – providing them with a summer camp experience where they can just enjoy being kids.
KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. – Children’s Hospital of East Tennessee has helped dozens of children make fun memories at its annual summer camp retreat.
Camp Eagle’s Nest is one of several summer camps the hospital holds each year. The camp helps children as young as 6 years old who are battling blood disorders and cancer with fun outdoor experiences. This year the retreat took place in the foothills south of Maryville at Camp Montvale.
“A lot of these patients can’t go to regular camp because of their medical diagnosis, so they can come here and do typical camp stuff like swimming, rock climbing, arts and crafts, the horses…all under the supervision of counselors with the help of the hospital,” said Anna Taylor, co-director of the camp.
Clinical staff and nurses from the hospital volunteer each year to lead the camp as counsellors.
Taylor is also a Child Life Specialist at ETCH. She said the experience helps kids bond and just enjoy being kids without having to worry about their treatments, even if it’s just for a few days.
“It’s great to come out of the hospital with them. They try new things, make new friends. We already know how brave they are, but you just have to see them try new things and see how how brave they are. a kid and forget maybe forget some hospital stuff,” she said.
The camp started on July 31 and will continue until August 4.