— By Jason Johnston CRG Volunteer-
Hello all! I wanted to share with you my experience with Camp Rainbow Gold.
I started volunteering in 2009 shortly after completing my cancer treatment while I was serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. I had heard about Camp Rainbow Gold a year two years prior while stationed in Miami, Florida from a coworker who had volunteered in the past and would come back talking about it non-stop and knew It had to be something great.
As we all know, cancer and the treatments can be quite terrible. Though I didn’t show it, I was terrified. I did not expect how absolutely amazing the nurses and doctors would be. They were some of the most amazing and compassionate people I had ever met. I knew after that, I wanted to give back in the hope of trying to pay tribute to them and all they did for me.
Going to Camp
As soon as I could I sent in my volunteer application and went to camp! I heard the stories from my friend that had been to camp but I was not prepared for how profound my experience at CRG would be. I couldn’t imagine a group of people that could be more beautiful than the staff at my cancer treatment center, how was I wrong! Who knew there was a whole community of amazing volunteers and campers that would forever change my life. The love and joy at CRG was unbelievable! We laughed, raided, danced, sang and let go of the rest of the world. And in that short week we became family. Because that’s what Camp is…a family. I’ll never forget how much I held onto from my own cancer experience and how the campers helped me and taught me how let it all go. And here I thought I was the one supposed to be doing all that.
Like many others that have come to camp, I was hooked. Every year, minus five years being stationed on the east coast and Middle east, I make a trek from Arizona and California to give back as much as I can in hope of honoring all of the incredible people that have taught me how to “CELEBRATE LIFE!”