We provide an
opportunity for pediatric oncology patients at Children's Medical
Center of Dallas to forget cancer in a week of silly songs,
campouts, fishing, challenges, horseback riding, crazy counselors,
and fellow campers who often become lifetime friends.
Donations made to the Bridewell Foundation go directly to fund the planning and daily operations of Camp Esperanza and Teen Retreat.
The Board of Directors of the Bridewell Foundation and the camp staff are all volunteers who dedicate time and energy to making camp
a possibility. An executive director position was added effective September 1, 2008 to provide oversight of the daily operations of
the Bridewell Foundation, seek additional funding sources, and promote positive community and donor relations. This part time position
is the only paid position in the organization.
The Board of Directors is excited to welcome Doreen Bruner to this new position. Doreen joined the Camp Esperanza team first as a camp
counselor in 1999 volunteering at camp until 2006. She worked simultaneously as a Board member and coordinated camp acquisitions beginning
in 2001. During Doreen's 10 years of volunteer service to Camp Esperanza and the Bridewell Foundation she has worked to build and maintain
existing community and donor relations.
In 1982, Mr. and Mrs.
Robert Bridewell approached Children's Medical Center of Dallas with
the idea of establishing a fund to provide a summer camping
experience for children being treated for cancer. Mr. Bridewell,
himself a cancer patient, laid the groundwork for the establishment
of an endowment to fund the camp. In May of 1982, Mr Bridewell died,
and the endowment was formed. Memorials were given in his honor to
further ensure the camp's beginning. The Bridewell Foundation was
established, with the first campers participating in Camp Esperanza
The first Camp Esperanza began in 1983 when the organization rented
facilities at Camp Sweeney in Gainesville, Texas. The first camp had
68 campers and 35 staff members. In 1991, Camp Esperanza began
renting a new campsite at Camp John Marc in Meridian, Texas. Today,
we have 140 campers and over 70 volunteers and staff.
The Bridewell Foundation
is an organization whose sole purpose is to raise money to fund Camp
Esperanza, which is free of charge to all campers. The cost of
providing a one week camping experience for each camper is $500.00;
therefore, the Foundation must raise $70,000.00 to fund and operate
camp each year. The Foundation is a tax-exempt Section 501 (c) (3),