Camp Quality

Ashley Thompson , Fall 2014 J1 student

Camp Quality (CQ) is a camp for kids who have cancer now and kids who have had cancer in the past.

It is located in St. Joseph, Missouri and will celebrate its 30th year in 2015.

“Camp Quality is a week-long residential camp,” said Karen Lampson,camp counselor. The camp is free for campers to attend.

“Camp Quality feels [attendees] have endured enough with the cost of health care and wants to provide a week-long of fun and no expense for the families,” Lampson said.

Lampson has completed 15 years as a counselor at Camp Quality.

“My favorite memory is when I was a companion, and there was a camper who had lost her sight due to cancer,” she said. “She had never eaten cotton candy before, so I got the opportunity to share that experience with her. It was very touching.”

The people at Camp Quality  are not sure of the most popular cancer among campers, but Lampson said at CQ all the kids are treated the same.

“Some kids come with hats on their heads, but by the second day, they have let those hats go and don’t mind walking around without a cover, wig or hat,” she said.

Lampson said cancer treatments aren’t really talked about at camp because it is a week for them to have fun and be a kid again outside the hospital setting.

“Everyone has been through cancer, and no one cares or makes fun of them or does any bullying,” Lampson said.

The people at Camp Quality feel the camp should be about the child with cancer and not the siblings.

“A child without cancer gets lost in the shuffle of the child with cancer,”Lampson said. “It’s important for the sibling to have one-on-one time.”