— By Tyler Weiss CRG Volunteer and previous camper-
When I first heard about Camp Rainbow Gold, I was in the hospital fighting a form of blood cancer known as Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). At the time, I was so focused on the hospital that I never had any time to make any summer plans. Heading up to my final days in the hospital, all of the nurses and doctors who took care of me told me how much they wanted to see me at Camp. So, I decided to give it a chance.
Expanding My Comfort Zone
What I enjoyed most about Camp was being able to step out of my comfort zone. I learned to be social with people who I had no prior interactions with, I learned to adjust to a new environment, and I even discovered some hidden talents. I improved on this every year and I learned to step out of my comfort zone outside of camp as well. I knew I would miss this as a camper, so I decided to volunteer as a Junior Volunteer.
Becoming a Junior Volunteer
My first year as a Junior Volunteer, I was assigned to the younger boys’ cabin at Youth Oncology Camp. Initially, I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t spent much time around this specific age group. As the days went by, I formed a bond with each and every one of the campers in my cabin. I sought assistance and mentorship from my co-counselors while navigating the week and I gained valuable experience as a result.
Looking back on this remarkable first year, I am reminded that while my initial motivation was to give back, the impact on my own life has been equally profound. Camp Rainbow Gold has not only given me the chance to inspire and guide these young campers, but it has also gifted me with a platform to advocate for the importance of community, understanding, and support in the face of adversity. I will always cherish the lessons I’ve learned, the friendships I’ve formed, and the memories I’ve created through Camp Rainbow Gold.