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Summer Getaway for Kids with Cancer

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP -- Children suffering from cancer are having a little summer vacation at a camp in Columbia County.

Organizers tell Newswatch 16 Camp Dost is meant for healing mind and body for kids and their families dealing with the disease.

A crazy sock parade, archery, and fishing are all at Camp Dost going on at Camp Victory near Bloomsburg.

More than 90 kids -- most suffering from cancer -- and their siblings are attending this week-long summer camp in Columbia County.

Christian Houghtaling is currently going through chemotherapy. He enjoys hitting a bullseye or two with friends at his first year at camp.

"It's really nice to do that and be able to hang with people and shoot and things like that."

Now in its 35th year, the Danville Ronald McDonald House camp program, Camp Dost cares for kids with cancer and their siblings, and it's all free for them.

Dost means friendship in Hindi and organizers hope having a sibling come with a patient to camp helps them break out of their shell.

"We say to them come to camp because this is where kids know what it feels like to look like that, to feel like that. 'But what if I take my shirt off and I have a scar?' And I say, 'We all have scars,'" said medical director Debbie Snyder.

Josh Perch is the director at Camp Dost but came here as a child with his brother Jason who had cancer. He says being able to go to the camp with his brother helped them grow closer.

"There is another child in the family or another two children in the family, so bringing them in and having them experience it with their brother and kind of talk to other siblings who are going through the same thing is a good mental break for them," said Perch.

Kids at the camp they are just happy they have a place to let loose and hang out with others fighting the same battle.

"It feels really good," said one camper.  "I am not alone with this journey."

The camp wraps up later this week with a big ceremony for the kids after a week getting a great distraction from their disease.

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