Happiness Is Camping was founded in 1980 and opened in 1982 by a group of concerned individuals who recognized a need for a very special type of resident camp; a camp for children with cancer and catastrophic blood diseases. Located in beautiful Hardwick New Jersey, the camp sits on 150 pristine acres of woodland, fields, streams, and ponds. Supported by donations and volunteer staff members, the camp is free to all who attend. Campers, ages 6-15 attend our overnight camp staying from one week to all summer depending on their medical condition and the level of care required. The camp is also available for the siblings of the campers as well. Siblings ages 6-15 are allowed to attend camp for the same sessions as their brother/sister with cancer.
Constant medical supervision of the highest quality is provided, with facilities for children requiring chemotherapy, children at risk of bleeding and infection, and children with physical disabilities. Our health center is staffed around the clock with volunteer doctors, and nurses from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Only children with cancer may apply and the child’s personal physician must make the determination that the child is well enough to attend camp.
Camp activities include canoeing and fishing on our pond, swimming in our pool, arts and
crafts, theater, nature, volleyball, basketball, high and low ropes courses, a climbing tower, archery, a giant swing, and a zip line that crosses over the pond. We also have an air conditioned, accessible gymnasium complete with a full size basketball court.
Up to 90 campers can be accommodated for each of the weeks during the summer season. Many of our staff, (roughly 140 individuals each year) volunteer their time and services, but our expenses including food, insurance, utilities, upkeep of the grounds, and pharmaceuticals are quite substantial. It costs roughly $2000 to provide a week of camp for each child.
Happiness Is Camping relies entirely on contributions, providing our services free of charge, so parents already burdened with extraordinary medical expenses can have their children attend summer camp. Support is received from foundations, organizations, and individual contributors. Happiness Is Camping is recognized by the IRS as a “not for profit” 501(c) (3) organization and is not a private foundation.