Over the past 10 years there has been an average of 1,276 new diagnosis of childhood cancer each year in Canada. Over the same period there is an average of 208 deaths annually contributed to this disease. Survival rates in Canada are now estimated at 82%. More children are surviving childhood cancer and the need for specialized camps and community programs continues to grow.
In 2008, member camps across Canada provided specialized oncology camps and community support programs to 5,252 children and their families. This number has grown by approximately 10% over the past three years. Member camps are dedicated to the specialized pediatric oncology field and are committed to ensure that all campers receive the highest standard in camp programming and childhood cancer care. In order to meet this goal all member camps have collaborated to develop protocols that all camps have agreed to operate within.
These include: direct collaboration and involvement with the local childhood cancer clinic, accreditation with the provincial camping association and ongoing compliance with the CAPOC/ACCPO guidelines and peer review process.
Not all oncology camps have accepted this practice. Parents and professionals are encouraged to look for the CAPOC logo to ensure that the camp is operating under best practices in Canada. Only member camps are operating under the safe practices developed in consultation with the childhood cancer clinics (C17), provincial camping associations and the Children’s Oncology Camping Association International.