Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Camp Angel Gives Kids a Much Needed GetawaySubmitted: 01/13/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


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.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MANITOWISH WATERS - The teachers and staff at the North Lakeland School in Manitowish Waters can get coffee for free in the teachers' lounge. But on Wednesdays, they choose to pay for their orders.

On those days, 50 cents will get them a hot cup of gourmet coffee brewed and delivered by Hannah Semmerling and Nattie Schellinger.

The eighth-graders opened up H & N's Coffee Shop this school year. Their teachers help out, but the girls do most of the work themselves.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin prosecutors have charged a man accused of killing an Illinois woman in a random drive-by shooting along an interstate.

Twenty-year-old Zachary Hays was charged Wednesday with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Texting makes communication easier and more efficient than ever.

But students at Three Lakes Junior and Senior High School learned Wednesday that, when you're driving, texting can wait. Students gathered in the gym to learn the dangers of distracted driving as part of AT&T's It Can Wait campaign.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - For the last week and a half many people shared stories of shock, sadness, fear and hope out of Antigo.

Police, students and clergy all spoke out, struggling to figure out why the prom night shooting happened.

For the first time on Wednesday, one shooting victim told his story.

Collin Cooper, 18, said he's doing ok. He spent nearly seven days in the hospital, undergoing three surgeries to get the leg just below the knee on the right track to heal properly. He wraps an ace bandage around his left calf, which covers the wound. He also has stitches from where doctors made incisions during surgery. He also has a vacuum-assisted closure, or V.A.C., for the wound.

"I can't walk yet," Cooper said. "But they said I can put pressure on it in about three to four weeks, I think they said. But I wont be back to walking on it fully for three to four months."
He said doctors told him the bullet shattered 10 percent of his tibia, a major bone in the calf.

"They said the lucky part is it didn't hit any major arteries and it only nicked one vein," Cooper added.

Now Cooper has to sit at home and rest up. His blood levels are still low, and it hurts to hold his leg vertically. Several times a day he has to do ankle and knee exercises to strengthen the muscles around them. Otherwise he has to keep his leg elevated, even while he sleeps, which is in a hospital bed the family already had. He said it's hard sometimes to take it so easy because he's been on several sports teams throughout high school and is used to being very active.

He says when family and friends aren't visiting him at home, he plays video games and watches TV. He can't yet return to school, so he his doing some work from home.

But when you ask Cooper about how he's processing the shooting at prom, he just shrugs.

"I'm kind of bummed to be down right now but I'm thankful and lucky that it was just this and it could have been a lot worse," Cooper said.

He's been bombarded on social media, flooded with questions and friend requests. He's only posted several times since the shooting, with the #AntigoStrong hashtag that's been trending on social media since the prom.

The oldest of five has leaned on his faith, his family and his friends.

"I'm fine I just want people to worry about Collin," said Cooper's friend Spencer Fittante, 17, who was walking out of prom with Cooper when he was shot. Fittante helped tie a his tie around Cooper's leg as a tourniquet.

"I never thought anything like that would ever happen to us, ever," Fittante said.

Still, Cooper won't let the injury keep him from working this summer or walking across the stage at graduation. He joked about practicing walking up stairs with his crutches. He said he thinks his humor helps him cope.

He's proud of and humbled by the Antigo community. He said there are days when it gets hard, but he's got the support of his family and friends. He wants to move on, but he also thinks sharing his experience might be able to help others.

"It's cool to see how the town has rallied around me and the all the other victims," Cooper said. "I think it's kind of a cool opportunity to have to share with people what happened. And I can kind of help them through things too. So I mean I want to put some of it in the past but some of it I want to hold onto so I can be able to help people in the future."

Cooper said his date who was grazed by a bullet is also doing well. He said she is back at school in Illinois. Cooper still plans to work this summer and attend college in the fall. 

+ Read More

MADISON - The Department of Natural Resources is starting to build a plan for moving the Division of Forestry's headquarters out of Madison.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - With her hands folded and head bowed, Northland Pines Senior Class President Sam Hytry stood humbled and empowered Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm praying for Antigo and everyone else that's involved," Hytry said.

Hytry shared those prayers during the school day through a smartphone.

"We sent out an email yesterday and we also used social media like Twitter and Facebook to kind of get the word out too," Hytry said.

The word was actually two, combined in a hashtag: "#AntigoStrong."

+ Read More

ANTIGO - The photo of American soldiers raising the flag over Iwo Jima brings Americans a lot of pride, especially the people of Antigo. But more than 70 years after that photo was taken, history buffs are questioning whether Antigo's own John Bradley is, in fact, in that photo as previously believed. The Marines have now opened an investigation in an attempt to answer that question.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here