After record registration one year ago, the MS Society of Canada’s Lloydminster chapter is gearing up for another Kids Kamp week.
“The camp is really a fun way to learn,” said Patty Milnthorp, client services co-ordinator for MS Society Lloydminster. “With anything, education and knowledge is a very powerful tool and it’s very important that the children know what the disease is that their loved one has.”
From July 21 to 24, Kids Kamp is open to campers ages four to 13 that have a parent, relative or close friend living with MS.
The camp - or “Kamp” - features educational sessions in the mornings that will incorporate crafts and games and will allow campers to experience what it’s like living with MS.
“The kids will be playing Minute to Win It but they will also have (mock) symptoms,” Milnthorp said. “One of the Minute to Win Its are, (campers) have two balloons and they have to keep these balloons up in the air for one minute wearing hand weights. That demonstrates fatigue that somebody with MS actually goes through.”
Afternoons, meanwhile, are reserved for field trips.
“The first day, we’re going to the petting zoo - they love the petting zoo so we have to do it every year,” Milnthorp said. “The second day, we are going to tour the new RCMP station and the (last) day, we wrap up, which is another one that the kids love every year and that’s going to the Leisure Centre to the swimming pool.”
The Friday finale also includes a pizza party, where campers can invite the loved one that has MS and showcase some of what they have learned throughout the week.
This year, Milnthorp says the camp has a few more younger kids signed up than usual, which she attributes to earlier diagnoses of MS, and in turn, kids being affected by the disease at a younger age. Regardless, programming is tailored to educate and entertain all campers.
As of July 14, Kids Kamp had 11 people signed up, but Milnthorp says that last-second registration on the first morning of camp typically tacks a couple more onto that total. Last summer, the chapter established a new registration record with 12 campers.
Kids Kamp is free of charge and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday at the Community Services Building.
Further inquires about the camp may be directed to Patty Milnthorp at the MS Society office, 780-871-0513.