Donate

About Us

Camps For Kids is a Kansas City based non-profit organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged and special needs youth experience the wonders and the benefits of summer camp. Founded in 1980, Camps For Kids will provide critical funding for 20 summer camps in 2018.

It is often difficult to explain how important the camping experience can be, especially for children who may be medically or financially disadvantaged. The following is a comment from a parent demonstrating that impact:

“As we expected camp has been WONDERFUL. The genuine smile on (my daughter’s) face in the pictures I took at drop off and the ones the counselors are sending me are testament to what an amazing thing you are doing. Thank you so very, very much! I cried leaving her, but not for the reason I thought I would be crying at drop off. I cried because I had a place to leave my child that I felt she fit in and I felt good about … in our world that just doesn’t happen often. This camp has been a blessing and I thank you so much for the time, energy, stress and love you put into making it ALL that it is to so many!”

These are comments from campers who attended a camp focused on helping children suffering from severe burns and demonstrate what the camp experience can mean:

“I can see what other kids have gone through and how they survived. It helps me get through & conquer. We are all survivors. That’s a gift.”

“One week of camp does more for a burn survivor than years of therapy.”

The camps in our network each have a specific focus, many related to children’s health. These include: chronic kidney disease, autism spectrum disorders, spina bifida, cancer, foster care children, bereavement therapy, burn victims, Crohn’s and colitis, diabetes, developmental challenges, and congenital heart disease.

The following information details the impact of the program in 2017
Number of Children able to attend camp due to Camps For Kids support:3,520
Children identified by camp staff as medically/developmentally challenged:1,824 (52%)
Children identified by camp staff as financially disadvantaged:2,357 (67%)
(some children are counted in both categories)

Mission

 

Camps For Kids works to assure that no Kansas City area youngster is denied the benefits of summer camp due to medical disability or financial disadvantage.

 

History

Camps For Kids was founded by Marjorie Powell Allen and other community leaders, in 1981 after the federal government discontinued a program providing summer camp to children with disabilities or financial need at no cost to their families.

In 2006 The Hallmark Corporation Foundation brought the Summer Dreams idea to Kansas City. Camps For Kids was selected as the lead agency for Kansas City’s Summer Dreams based on Camps For Kids 25 years of experience in assisting medically and financially disadvantaged campers. The Hall Family Foundation, H&R Block Foundation, Sosland Foundations, Sarli Foundation, The Menorah Heritage Foundation, The Oppenstein Brothers Foundation, and many others continue to be among the supporters of the Camps For Kids Campaign. 

It is still true today that it is difficult for many families with children who have physical or developmental issues or who are low-income to afford the cost of camp. Camps For Kids believes camp offers children who are financially, physically or developmentally disadvantaged opportunities to enjoy a sense of independence, enhance friendship skills, and participate in programs not otherwise available.

The Camps For Kids camp network includes 20 camps which serve children from 5 to 18 years of age with disabilities including children with spina bifida, cancer, severe burns, diabetes, Crohn’s and colitis, autism spectrum disorders, developmental and/or physical challenges, chronic kidney disease, congenital heart disease, children in foster care, and/or children in financial need.

Area philanthropies invest by donating to a matching fund for special needs campers:

  • Participating camps urge their supporters to contribute through this special fund so that donations can be matched dollar for dollar, expanding support for special needs campers
  • Camps For Kids allocates funds after ensuring that our network continues to support the neediest of our community’s kids, with only the highest quality programming.

Vision

 

We envision a community that recognizes the unique developmental benefits of the summer camp experience for our children, that organizes to provide sufficient resources, that “takes care of our own,” and that passes this salutary process on to subsequent generations.

 

Testimonials

Testimonal

“As we expected camp has been WONDERFUL. The genuine smile on (my daughter’s) face in the pictures I took at drop off and the ones the counselors are sending me are testament to what an amazing thing you are doing. Thank you so very, very much! ”

Testimonal

“I can see what other kids have gone through and how they survived. It helps me get through & conquer. We are all survivors. That’s a gift.”

Testimonal

“When I'm at camp, I feel like a normal kid. Some kids don't get to go outside because our parents are just working too much and too hard. At home, I'm just watching movies all day. I don't want to get too old to come to Wildwood.”

Testimonal

“Without the support of Camps for Kids and the matching fund, CHD Families would be unable to provide a free medically supervised summer camp for kids with Congenital Heart Defects.”

Testimonal

“I look back on the struggle of my childhood and one of the most important and best childhood memories I have include the time spent at camp with the amazing men and women who treated me like I was normal despite my struggle”

Get Camps For Kids news and updates in your inbox

By submitting this form, you agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy