2019 Camp Fantastic
In August 2019, DCEG staff and fellows spent a week in the Shenandoah Valley at the 4H Center in Front Royal, Virginia, volunteering at Camp Fantastic, a summer camp for children affected by cancer. Volunteers on the medical staff were Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Director of DCEG—read about the NIH Director’s Award he received for 25 years of service as camp Medical Director—and Assistant Clinical Investigator Lisa McReynolds, M.D., Ph.D. On the camp counselors’ crew were research fellow, Diana Withrow, Ph.D., and summer interns, Frank Colon-Matos and Michelle Fang; Maura Kate Costello, of the DCEG Communications Team provided face-painting services for the nearly 100 campers.
In what has become an annual tradition, NIH Director Francis Collins came to camp on the evening of the talent show to meet campers, and lead a sing-a-long. Read his reflections on the NIH Director’s Blog.
Camp Fantastic is run jointly between NCI and Special Love, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting children with cancer and their families. This year, campers were delighted by camp traditions including a pool party, Bonkers day and Farm day, a field trip to a nearby farm, and new activities put on by community partners like escape rooms, virtual reality gaming, and a karate activity.