East Tennessee Children’s Hospital brings summer camp to patients with cancer, blood disorders


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Summer camp is often a rite of passage for many children growing up but for those kids who are getting treatment in the hospital, it is often not an option. That’s why East Tennessee Children’s Hospital brings summer camp to those children.

Camp Eagles Nest is a day camp for children with cancer and rare blood disorders. The children spent the day at the University of Tennessee Aquatic Center and the Tennessee Recreation Center for Students, better known as TRECS. Campers got the chance to swim, do arts and crafts, and enjoy some time away from the hospital.

The camp is usually an overnight trip to Camp Wesley Woods in Townsend but camp was held closer to home because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Camper and cancer survivor Hadley Brooks said the camp is a welcomed change from when she normally sees the nurses and staff.

“Because I know they are not going to do any finger pricks and it’s nice just to see them, because I haven’t seen them in a few months,” Brooks said.

Children’s Hospital Child Life Specialist Anna Taylor agreed.

“They are just excited to do something fun, get out of the house and interact with each other, just have a day of fun where they don’t really have to worry about the treatment they are going through,” she said.

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