People & Places with Pierce: Camp Rainbow & Camp Joint Venture

As a kid, nothing is better than summer camp.

18-year-old Janya Sims of Tifton says: “We do a lot of stuff.”

There’s something for everyone.

Kendra Eady, a camp counselor from Augusta, says: “We don’t have time to do anything but have fun.”

14-year-old Colby Sanchez of Hephzibah adds: “You have fun literally every minute of the day.”

“I think we’re all waiting for this time to come because you get to be with people who are just like you,” explained Sims.

For one week every summer, patients at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia get to be kids.

“I’ve had lupus since 2012,” said Sims. “I have been coming to camp for 6 years.”

“I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 5,” said Eady. “I then started coming to camp at 9.”

“It’s awesome especially being with people that have the same diseases as you,” said Sims. “So you’re able to connect with them. It’s your first time meeting them but you’re able to connect with them in some way.”

“I can kind of feel what the girls or the kids are going through because I’ve been there on both sides as a camper myself with cancer and now a counselor,” explained Eady.

“They do try to encourage you to do different things that you’ve never experienced before,” said Sims.

“It gives them a break from treatment,” added Eady. “It gives them a break from the horrible things that we have to go through as cancer patients. It gives them the opportunity to make friends and just enjoy being kids.”

“I’m just hanging out with my friends,” said Sanchez. “It’s real fun.”

“I had people in my cabin last year,” said Sims. “It was three girls and we still hang out with each other even outside of camp.”

“You would never look at these kids and think that they were sick or they had cancer because they have so much energy,” said Eady. “I look forward to seeing them every year.”

Another year is in the books for Camp Rainbow and Camp Joint Venture, and the anticipation for next year is already at a fever pitch.

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