Camp Hope volunteer scrambles to find site, funds after fire

08/03/2014 11:33 AM

08/06/2014 12:17 PM

Organizing this year’s Camp Hope did not come without difficulty.

Patty Stuever has been involved with the weeklong camp for children with cancer for 14 years. As the activities director, Stuever had to organize a new location for this year’s camp, which started Sunday and runs through Saturday near Great Bend.

“There was a fire at the spot we had been having Camp Hope for the last 30 years,” Stuever said of Camp Aldrich, the original location.

Stuever worked with Barton Community College to bring this week’s camp to Barton’s campus.

In addition, the American Cancer Society, which used to provide funds for the camp, is no longer sponsoring this year’s event, said Barb Keltner, a volunteer and newsletter editor for Camp Hope. At a loss for funds, Stuever organized fundraisers, including one at the Doo-Dah Diner in April, a week after the fire at Camp Aldrich.

“She’s had double the work it seems like,” Keltner said, “but she’s always positive.”

In the two months since the fire, Stuever rescheduled the camp’s activities to work with the community college, including face painting, crafts, kickball, human hamster balls, Guitar Hero and bowling.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in Great Bend will stock a fishing pond with catfish, Stuever said. Then Wildlife, Parks and Tourism will fry the day’s catch for a fish dinner.

“It’s probably the best week of the year,” Stuever said. “The kids, some of them, have been pretty sick and getting to watch them have fun … and letting them be kids. They’re so resilient.”

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the discussion

is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service