“For many families like ours, life works a little differently. Some people tuck their kids into bed at night with the knowledge they will wake up in the morning ready to take on the world. For our family, every time we tuck our beautiful daughter into bed at night we worry that she will stop breathing. There are other families like ours. Families that worry constantly about how to keep their children safe, yet let them live life “normally”. We want our children to have the same adventures and experiences as other children, finding a way to make that possible is the hard part. Camp Pelican was the answer to our prayers. I stumbled on Camp Pelican while we were stationed in Louisiana with the Army. My daughter was 7 and desperately wanted to go to summer camp. The problem is, regular camps can’t take care of her the way she needs. They can’t administer her meds and save her life in the middle of the night, and that makes regular childhood experiences more difficult to attain. Camp Pelican was different. I called literally one week before the camp started and they made room for her. I very nervously and emotionally dropped her off on the first day of camp not knowing what would happen. One week later I picked up a totally different kid. She was independent, she was happy, she made friends. I get emotional talking about Camp Pelican because it has changed our lives. Let me rephrase, the PEOPLE have changed our lives. Most will read about this camp and assume it is like any other camp but its not. I can’t express it in any other words, this Camp Pelican is our family. It’s a place that the counselors volunteer to take time from their summers and spend it with kids who deal with things kids should never have to deal with. They don’t just volunteer, they love what they do. They love our kids, and they love making lifetime memories with them. I don’t have to worry about dropping off my children because I know Camp Pelican is like another home to them, full of loving family members who would stop at nothing to make them happy. This camp, its not just a camp, it’s a life changing experience for children who live with life altering illnesses. I am now the mom of two campers, both with restricting medical ailments. The highlight of my kids’ year is their trip to camp, and it doesn’t matter how many times I write it down for people to read, Camp Pelican gives my kids the ability to be like everyone else, and that is all I could ever want for them. Thank you Camp Pelican, all of you, for changing lives, one kid at a time! You will never ever know what you mean to every life you touch.”

~ Hope, mother of two campers

 

“Our son, Preston, looks forward to going to Camp Pelican every summer! So much so that when we pick him up from camp he’s already planning the next years adventure!! Camp Pelican gives Preston a week of just being a “typical” kid, whether he’s just hanging out with the other kids, swimming, canoeing, or having a campfire sing-a-long! His favorite part of camp has always been talent night, he loves putting on a show with his counselors and singing his favorite songs. For our family, Camp Pelican has been a place where we can send Preston and be at peace knowing he’s safe and all his medical needs are taken care of. The staff is AMAZING!! They come back year after year and truly love the kids! They are a “Family” at camp and year round. We are so grateful for Camp Pelican!!” ~ Dani, mother of a camper who became a staff member

 

“Camp Pelican was a wonderful experience for our daughter Elise. She first attended camp as an 8-year-old, trached and vented little girl with more gadgets and gizmos than a spaceship. Eternally overprotective parents, we were nervous to let her attend a sleep away camp. She was so excited and boarded the bus with great enthusiasm. She was so excited to have some independence from us. It was a wonderful and positive experience for her. She looks forward to attending camp every year. She is attending for the 6th year and is already counting down the days. It’s a week filled with friends, memories and adventures that we just can’t give her at home.” ~ Samantha, mother of a camper

 

“Nothing but friendly, positive people! I was very nervous at first, but the camp administration, nurses and volunteers made me feel very comfortable with leaving my son for a whole week! He enjoyed the entertainment, food and the water sports. He actually got in the water!!!!! We traveled a ways to get to the camp, but it was so worth it!!! This camp was awesome because you meet lots of people who really enjoy all the fun activities that are planned and directed by the ever so friendly and helpful camp staff. Thank you!!!!” ~ Pam (Parent of first time staff member with a tracheotomy)