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Not-for-profit Camp Quality kicks off week-long summer gathering - KOAM TV 7

Not-for-profit Camp Quality kicks off week-long summer gathering for kids with cancer

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It's lunch time at Camp Quality Ozarks. The kids are bustling and happy about many things:

"Seeing new faces and having fun," said Ellie.

"Swimming," said Aaron.

"Just seeing my best buddy Dominic," said Brady.

They are also excited to see Kristin Patterson.  

"I think I've gotten probably 1000 hugs," said Patterson. "And that's the best part. I live for that."

Patterson is the executive director of the camp. She says the goal is to give children with cancer the chance to "just be a kid." It offers a much-needed break from the stress and hardship of dealing with their illnesses.  

"We still have to do the medicines. We still have to do the things like that, but you never know. If one child can't do an activity, we rearrange it. But the kids, they forget about it."

For Patterson, it's about memories. Eighteen years ago, she was a camper herself, a 10-year-old girl dealing with leukemia.  

"Camp was my most wonderful memory through the summer. We all looked forward to it. I made many many friends here"

Almost two decades later, the camp is doing the same for these kids. Patterson and the volunteers are giving them one week to just play, create, meet other kids, and relax.

"They're really nice and I like them," said Ellie.

"It's amazing," said Dominic. "Because, you get to do a lot of fun things."

"We talk about it in our training that we are the role models for them," said Patterson. "And we are, we truly are. But they are the true role models and they really show us how to live life."


Along with a summer gathering, the program offers year-round support services for kids with cancer and their families. There are 15 Camp Quality locations throughout the US.


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