What We DoLOVE CAMP, HATE CANCER is the motto that we live by at Camp Enchantment. Our philosophy is that children who face cancer should have the opportunity to experience as many of the joys and freedoms of a healthy childhood as possible. For children with cancer, these experiences are an important source of strength and support. Having the chance to develop such friendships through our camp programs and events can be truly therapeutic, with benefits lasting throughout their lives.
Camp Enchantment New Mexico is a seven-day resident camp session for pediatric cancer patients and survivors ages 7 to 17. Set in the beautiful backdrop of the Manzano Mountains, campers are immersed in nature where fresh air and wildlife are abundant.
At Manzano Mountain Retreat, campers participate in activities such as arts & crafts, campfires, a dance, fishing, mountain biking, a ropes course, scuba diving, swimming, wall-climbing, and many other themed special activities that are new each year.
The camp staff is comprised of amazing volunteers, who are background-checked, well-trained, and devoted to the cause. A caring, 24-hour medical team is always on hand to ensure any special medical needs are met, but they are also there to get to know the campers outside of the hospital and clinic settings. The leadership team chooses a new theme every year, and the camp is shaped and molded to provide special new activities and experiences for the campers to make every year special and different.
Campers receive three meals a day, provided by Manzano Mountain Retreat, plus snacks. They are lathered in sunscreen and well-hydrated, as our camp doctors and leadership wouldn’t have it any other way. Campers forge bonds with their peers throughout the week, and we often see kids who arrive become resistant to leaving. Many of the friendships and bonds formed at camp are with our campers for life.
We also provide a Leader-in-Training program for campers and older teens who have reached the age to transition from adolescent to young adult. The LITs attend Camp Enchantment as campers.
They follow a separate programming schedule for the week that focuses on personal wellness and leadership skills such as nutrition, interviewing and professional communication, home economics, and bonding activities with their peers. Additionally, this program has recently been restructured and will include events throughout the year that encourage our LITs to be of service to the New Mexico community and to serve as role models at our camp community events. Our LIT program is championed by a strong female and a strong male staff member who provide encouragement and guidance to this age group. We are excited to provide age-appropriate programming for our young adults as they develop life skills and take lessons with them on their journey into adulthood. They are also tasked with leading the camper teens in our Teen Trek camping event, where they will really have their time to shine as leaders. We believe this program will support our LITs as they enter college and prepare for life beyond high school as successful adults.