Just Imagine.

A six year-old is boy recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right femur. Bone cancer, with the likelihood of amputation, a long series of chemotherapy treatments and hospitalization. For this boy his entire world changes in a blink of an eye. A flood of thoughts fill his head, and his biggest concern is if ‘I will be able to play like a normal kid again’. Almost forty years ago Camp Esperanza directed its mission and goals to focus on this exact scenario by offering a camp, for kids with cancer. How can we help kids with cancer feel normal again? How can we help them believe in themselves and show them there’s still fun to be had, friends to be made and walls to be climbed?

Did you Know?

More children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease. In fact, more than many other childhood diseases combined. We provide kids with cancer a week of fun and friendship while building confidence and inspiring hope.

It Takes a Village

It takes a village to make camp successful year in and year out. All of our volunteers are “volunteers” and spend many hours preparing for camp, training and then devote six full days/nights at camp. Our motto is “It’s for the Kids”. Everything we do is for the kids. It’s our passion to make camp fun for each and every camper.

It’s a Magical Place

Camp John Marc has hosted Camp Esperanza since 2019, providing us with an incredibly beautiful place to play, learn and grow. The facility provides wheelchair accessibility throughout the grounds, a brand new medical building with all the bells and whistles and a top-notch staff that works super hard year round to ensure all camps are safe, fun and convenient. You’ll also find a dining hall large enough for every kid, counselor and Camp John Marc staff to enjoy three meals a day together. There are pathways to help campers’ transitions from building to building with ease and of course, there’s ice-cold air conditioning.

But let’s admit it, the kids aren’t interested in those things. Here’s what they’ll be jazzed about.

A camp for kids with cancer. A boy fishing at Camp Esperanza. A camp for kids with cancer
A camp for kids with cancer. Two boys at Camp Esperanza discovering an Iguana for the first time.
A camp for kids with cancer. A boy at Camp Esperanza climbing the wall at the ropes course
A camp for kids with cancer. A boy at Camp Esperanza riding a horse for the first time
A camp for kids with cancer. A group of girls canoeing in the lake at Camp Esperanza
A camp for kids with cancer. Two girls swimming in the pool at Camp Esperanza
A camp for kids with cancer. Teenage boy removing an arrow from a target at Camp Esperanza
A camp for kids with cancer. A young girl painting her pottery at Camp Esperanza

Our Team

Co-directors and Admin (4 – 6)

Camp co-directors start planning next year the day after we get back from camp. Camp Esperanza has a leadership team that keeps camp fresh and exciting each year and also brings with it many years of experience. We follow processes that have been proven and evolved over the years and keep camp running smoothly from year to year.

Medical staff (8 – 10)

Camp Esperanza – A camp for kids with cancer, includes a full medical staff which provides care to your child during their week at camp. The medical staff includes 2-3 oncologists, 4-5 oncology nurses, a child life specialist, and a social worker. The medical building is state of the art. Due to this, the medical team is able to deliver all the care that can be given in our oncology clinic while your child is at camp. Therefore, your children are able to have fun at camp but also receive all the medications and monitoring needed to keep them safe.

Counselors (60)

Camp Esperanza provides 60 qualified counselors for the week of camp. This includes background checks, extensive training and orientation formats, more training and orientation and yep, even more training. The minute your child steps on the bus headed for camp, we have extremely well trained and qualified volunteers to oversee not only their transportation to camp but also high-level supervision while at camp. Our cabin ratio, fourteen kids to six adult counselors, is perfect for offering each child the attention and supervision they’ll need. We’ve worked hard to fine tune the safety measures required while your child is in our care and lean also on Camp John Marc’s expert staff to guide and help us along the way. Bottom line, we’ve done our homework and we assure you, your child is in good hands.

Steering Committee (18 – 20)

As mentioned above, it takes a village to make camp successful year in and year out. Twenty plus people start planning camp in January each year. The Camp Esperanza steering committee is comprised of many people fulfilling duties and advising for medical, child-life, travel squad, skit night, graduation, personnel, co-directors, arts and crafts, acquisitions and many more.

Camp John Marc staff (40+)

Camp John Marc has hosted Camp Esperanza for over 25 years, providing us with an incredibly beautiful place to play, learn and grow. They also provide over 40 well-trained staff that supervise and instruct each activity at camp. These are amazing and energetic staff members that make Camp Esperanza campers love camp each and every moment!

I’m really gonna miss going every year but I’m hoping that I get to go to teen retreat until I can’t go anymore! Every year at camp always impacts me because I’m around people who are just like me!

Camper

I had a fishing project with my best friends Dustin and Cooper and getting to spend time with them while getting to do my favorite activity was so AWESOME!

Camper

It’s always sad to send them off on a big bus, but it’s a time that for one week your child is like everyone else. They don’t have people staring and whispering. It’s a time they get to make friends that will forever impact their lives.

Camper Parent

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
– Nelson Mandela