Summer Camp Caters to Every Child

By: Stacy McCloud
By: Stacy McCloud

Knoxville (WVLT) - Summer is here and that means it's time for summer camp!! And Children’s Hospital has been busy making that possible for every child, no matter their circumstance.

Volunteer TV’s Stacy McCloud spent the morning in Townsend with some youngsters who haven't let some major setbacks slow them down one bit!

Harnessed in and buckled up, these kids are eager to complete today's camp challenge, making it to the top of a climbing wall.

They're determined and obviously strong. But it's the strength you can't see, that makes them over achievers.

You see, they've already faced the climb of their lives.

"We have kids on chemo, kids in remission 2, 3, 4 years. We also have kids with bleeding disorders that just need some special attention,” says Rick Calloway, Director at Camp Eagle’s Nest.

Third year camper Dakota Smith has made it to the top of this wall every year, but this time is different. He has a little more energy and a lot more hair under his helmet. "They got the cancer it's gone now."

They're all normal kids, who've simply had to go through some abnormal things.

But here they can do everything any other kid can do.

"You get to go horse back riding, canoeing, the art activities are fun,” says Ke’Yanna Faulkner, a 10-year-old with sickle cell.

Cheering them on, their doctors and nurses.

"It's hard to believe it till you see it. This guy who has been through so much and has the strength to climb that wall,” says Dr. Ray Pais.

Right by their side, others who truly understand.

“It's really fun because I get to know what they've been through and they get to know what I've been through,” says Ke’Yanna.

"At this camp if you have a bald spot on your head from radiation or if you walk with a limp because you had to have surgery, the other kids aren't going to say what's wrong with you. You are a normal kid here,” says Dr. Pais.

"I'm on top of the world,” says Dakota.

Camp Eagle’s Nest celebrates 25 years this summer.


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