Camp Goodtimes Programs
Camp Goodtimes's programming includes a no-cost pediatric oncology camp for patients, survivors and siblings affected by cancer. We welcome campers from western Washington and Alaska, ages 7 to 17, for two separate weeks of residential overnight summer camps on Vashon Island. We also offer a weeklong kayak trip for young adult survivors in the San Juan Islands. Each year we serve approximately 225 children and 15 young adults. A dedicated staff of over 200 volunteers and three employees support all three programs.
A Day in the Life of Camp
At Camp Goodtimes, children are campers first and patients second. Cabins and activities are divided by age, creating a mix of cancer patients and cancer patient siblings in every group.
Daily programs consist of archery, arts and crafts, boating, field games, biking, and fishing. Campers rotate through programs and activities as a cabin. In the evening, the camp comes together to perform skits, watch performances, or sit around a campfire and eat s'mores and sing songs.
There are several all-camp activities that campers look forward to, including an all-day cruise around the Seattle Harbor, courtesy of Argosy cruise lines. The Bellevue and Tacoma Rotary host a carnival complete with prizes, cotton candy, and crazy hairstyles created by stylists from Gene Juarez Salons. Campers boogie at a festive camp dance on Friday evening. During all-camp activities, as well as at meals, campers see and interact with siblings who may be in an older or younger group.
The cabin system benefits all children at camp. By giving patients and siblings equal attention, campers no longer define themselves by their illness. It's not uncommon for cabins to be oblivious to their bunkmates' diagnoses, as conversations quickly veer from hospitalization records to what they're going to make in arts and crafts, whether brownies or cake will be served for dessert, or which One Direction band member is the best.
Here's a typical day:
7:00 Wake up, shower, get ready for the day
8:15 Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, camp songs
9:45-10:45 Arts & crafts with volunteer "Rocksie", bike riding or kayaking
11:00-12:00 Fishing with volunteer "Chinook" or instrument building
1:30-2:45 Cabin Time, where campers can read quietly, write letters, draw, or prepare for skits
2:45-3:45 Whipped cream fight, pool time or disc golf
4:00-5:00 Balloon pit, Dance lessons, or photography program
5:30 Dinner and camp songs
7:00 Camp skits and S 'Mores
9:30 Lights out!
The Goodtimes Project is aware of the unique struggles our campers face and their challenges are addressed in a variety of ways throughout the week. A Salute to Siblings day celebrates the siblings who've endured their brother or sister's cancer diagnosis. Memory Circle celebrates the lives of campers and staff who lost their battle with cancer. Dreamboats are built by campers to hold their hopes and dreams of a world without cancer. Grandpa Fred Heart Lighting is a time when we are reminded that at camp, cancer doesn't win.
On-site medical staff consists of four to five pediatric cancer nurses and oncologists primarily from Seattle Children's and Mary Bridge hospitals. Many of the volunteer counselors are former pediatric cancer patients, siblings, or work in a healthcare related field and are sensitive to the emotional needs of campers.
2016 Camp Goodtimes
Hey Goodtimes family! Grab your calendar, open your calendar apps, send a carrier pigeon to your publicist, because you're going to want to make note! We'll be back at Camp Burton in 2016!
June 26-July 2, 2016
July 17-23, 2016
The Goodtimes Project Board of Directors