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How much does it cost to participate?
All camps and year-round programming are provided entirely free of charge for every camper and family. There may be costs involved for volunteers at some of the year-round programs.
When and where are the camps?
Family camps are held in early summer and fall. Oncology and sibling camps are in July. Due to the current situation and repercussions of COVID-19, some dates and formats may change for 2021. For program dates this year, check out the Camps page.
In 2021, we anticipate camps will be held at Hidden Paradise in Fairfield, Idaho.
How can I help?
What are the requirements to volunteer?
Camp Rainbow Gold employs volunteers in a wide range of capacities. Those who assist with year-round programming and services must be at least 13 years of age. Volunteers who wish to help at camp must be at least 21 years of age, successfully pass a driving record and criminal background check, and participate in training sessions. Visit our Volunteer page for more information and to apply.
How are volunteers selected for camp?
After an interested individual submits an application, we screen the application and the prospective volunteer is offered an interview. The interview is conducted by Camp Rainbow Gold staff and camp leadership. We check the applicant’s driving record and perform a criminal background check. We look for a diversity of characteristics when selecting volunteers to accommodate the many needs at camp. You can request more information about background check guidelines and view a summary of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I apply for my child or family to attend camp?
Camp applications open each spring for the upcoming summer programs. Review the camp dates and details and submit an application online.
How old does my camper need to be?
Camp Rainbow Gold youth oncology camp is for children ages 6-12. Teen oncology camp is for children ages 13-17. Oncology camps are open to children who have been diagnosed with cancer at any point in their lives; they do not have to be in current treatment to attend.
Sibling Camp is for children ages 6-17. Survivors and siblings ages 18-20 are eligible to apply for the Camp Rainbow Gold junior volunteer program.
Family Camp is for the entire family.
How does my child get to camp?
Camp Rainbow Gold provides transportation for all children who wish to attend oncology camp by bus from Boise or Mountain Home. We also work with Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization that serves most of the state outside the Treasure Valley by flying children to camp for free.
We provide a bus from Boise and Mountain Home for sibling camps.
Families are responsible for their own transportation arrangements for family camp and events. We ensure that every child who wants to come to camp is able. Depending on the nature of other year-round programming and events, transportation is arranged on a case-by-case basis.
What medical support is provided at camp?
The support from St. Luke’s Cancer Institute pediatrics is phenomenal and makes Camp Rainbow Gold possible. Many of the same doctors and nurses who treat children each day also volunteer their time each summer. Oncology camps are staffed with oncology nurses and a pediatric oncology physician at all times. Both sibling and family camps are staffed with registered nurses, and sibling camp has an on-call physician at all times.
Can I attend or visit my child at camp?
Camp Rainbow Gold does not recommend, nor allow, parents to accompany their child the week of camp. Camp is not only provided as a break for the children but also a relief for the parents.
Parents and other family members are encouraged to attend other programs and services provided throughout the year. Parents are welcome to volunteer for a variety of programs but cannot volunteer at a camp their child is attending.
Can I contact my camper while they are at camp?
Camp offers children the opportunity to play and have fun and connect with other children. We do invite parents to mail letters to their camper while at camp.
But please remember contact with parents can often lead to homesickness or the inability to let go and fully enjoy the experience.
Campers are not permitted to use personal cell phones, tablets, music players, etc. and are encouraged to let go of technology while they are at camp.
The camp can be reached in emergency situations and emergency contact information is provided in your parent packet. Parents will be notified immediately if there is a problem at camp.
Why are you called Camp Rainbow Gold?
Before it ever had a name, kids gathered in the summer to have the camp experience they always wanted, free of the worries of their cancer diagnosis. One camper mentioned to our founder, Dr. McCluskey, that camp was like the pot of gold they had been searching for at the end of the rainbow. Camp Rainbow Gold was born.
What is a SHINE?
At CRG, a SHINE refers to a special part of every meal where one-by-one we grab a microphone, don a silly hat and celebrate what’s great about those gathered around us.
Camp Rainbow Gold is about showing kids how they continue to thrive despite the battles they have encountered. Everyone has the power and right to show strength, beauty, pride, and vulnerability. By setting aside time each day at camp to celebrate our accomplishments, lift one another up and show gratitude to those around us, we hope to remind all our campers that we aren’t defined by our struggles.
When we SHINE for a camper who performed a song at the campfire or carried out an act of kindness, we are celebrating the light they shared with us and the bravery they displayed.
When we SHINE for new families joining in at family camp, we are acknowledging the work it takes to free up schedules, try something new and prioritize time with each other.
When we SHINE for you, we are saying we are proud of you and we are honored to be part of your journey.
What is a Wishcone ceremony?
A pine cone, a few pieces of paper and some ribbon transform the ordinary into magic. We call them “Wishcones.”
A Camp Rainbow Gold tradition, this ceremony is a time for reflection, connection, closure, and hope. During the final campfire for each camp, we write our wishes on pieces of paper and tie them to the Wishcone. The wishes are dreams for the future, wishes for a family or sibling, wishing cancer would go away, wishing for peace. The wish doesn’t need to deal with cancer at all; it can be any thought, hope or dream that needs to be shared with the universe.
As a background of beautiful music plays, everyone tosses their Wishcones into the fire and watches as their wishes float into the night sky and bright stars. Some send their wishes to heaven or to campers who have passed, some find comfort just knowing their wishes exist somewhere outside their heads and hearts.
Wishcones enable us to realize, recognize and remember our hopes and dreams — dreams cancer has tried to steal away. The Wishcone ceremony can be emotional at times, but it is also a connection to those beside you and those far away.
What is the relationship between Camp Rainbow Gold and Hidden Paradise Camp?
The Camp Rainbow Gold organization is the owner of the property in Fairfield, Idaho, known as Hidden Paradise Camp. Camp Rainbow Gold is managing the capital campaign and construction to remodel and build Idaho’s first medical camp.
Hidden Paradise will serve as the home of Camp Rainbow Gold camp programs. Hidden Paradise will also be available for lease to other medical organizations in the region that require medically accessible facilities for camp and recreational programs. To learn more about leasing space at Hidden Paradise, click here.