BOULDER JUNCTION - Wisconsin kids living with cancer in their family got to run wild this weekend at Camp Angel in Boulder Junction. The Angel On My Shoulder Foundation has been sending kids from around the state to Camp Angel for 17years.
The foundation's founder and executive director says the whole purpose is to provide a weekend for these kids to just be kids again.
"It's healing. It's healing for me as well as for them," says Executive Director Lolly Rose.
When Rose's husband passed away from cancer she and her family decided to create something that would help others affected by the disease. The Angel On My Shoulder Foundation has programs for cancer survivors and caregivers... but it's someone else that Camp Angel focuses on.
"These are kids affected by cancer through a loved one, either parent sibling or grandparent. Or they've lost someone to that situation," says Rose.
"And anybody whose dealt with cancer knows that really takes up everyone's time and energy and thoughts and everything is built around what's going on with the cancer," says Amy Lemke.
"Families don't get to do as much fun stuff. They don't get to go to the Dells or do fun things on the weekend, or roller-skate, or play out with friends or go on play dates because a lot of times parents are going to the hospital," says Dr. Vijay Aswany, from Marshfield Clinic.
These kids are bussed in from every nook and corner of the state to enjoy a weekend of fun, and a little bit of pampering.
"This morning we got our hair done, and face paint. And then we made kaleidoscope. Then we went rock wall climbing and we both got to the top," says Emily Sullivan, nine years old, from Dodgeville.
On snowy weekends the kids get to go snowmobiling, sledding and ice fishing. Volunteers say cancer is often the one element that's not on the agenda.
"We don't have any talks on cancer. We don't walk around with long faces. Here, you're just a kid," says Dr. Vijay.
"And they don't have to talk about it if they don't want to. But if they want to talk about it, everybody around them knows what this is about. They know where these kids are coming from," says Cody Lemke, a Counselor.
"You definitely notice them being able to relax and relate," says Richard Lemke.
The kids might start out shy, but most find it's a place they can make fast friends.
"We kept smiling at each other on the bus," says 10-year-old Julia Herod, from Waukesha.
"Yeah we became friends pretty much when we walked into the building," says Sullivan.
Camp Angel has touched so many kids for so many years, many of them come back, to give back. Twelve-year-old Alayna Perry went from camper to junior counselor.
"My mom met up with the people and she likes to do a lot of volunteer work and help because she was the one who had cancer for this camp, and she wants to give back because of the opportunities I was able to get because of it. I think we're going to be doing this every year," says Perry.
Angel On My Shoulder has hundreds of volunteers for its many programs. But this weekend, the thirty people who wanted to show these kids a good time can rest easy.
"I feel special that I can interact with other people who know how I'm feeling," says Sullivan.
WISCONSIN - Mud, debris, and damaged property still cover parts of Northern Iron County after a storm ripped through there more than two weeks ago.
The lack of money to repair certain areas is largely keeping the rebuilding process from getting started.
That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.
It surveyed the damage because of its severity and the extreme costs to fix.
"Really if it's beyond the scope of local jurisdiction, and even the states that respond," said FEMA External Affairs Officer Troy Christensen.
Wisconsin Emergency Management currently believes the damage caused by the mid-July storm is around $38 million across 10 counties and Bad River Reservation. Around $15 million of that happened in Iron County.
FEMA relies on local government like the ones in Iron County to help it assess damage.
"They have sights selected so they will be showing us a lot of these sights." Said Christensen.
Those sights included multiple towns, Saxon Harbor, and crumbled highways.
This week Iron County gave its damage estimates to FEMA.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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