Southern Colorado | Always Watching Out For You

Camp volunteers ready to welcome children battling pediatric cancer

WOODLAND PARK – Camp Wapiyapi is a free camp offering children with pediatric cancer the chance to break away from their daily worries.

“They don’t have to worry about the hospital or treatment or that their brother or sister is sick,” said Missy Dillavou, the camp’s assistant director.

“It really is an opportunity for them to come out and just be kids,” said Justin Walmsley, the camp’s director.

Right now, camp volunteers are preparing to welcome these kids.

“Our volunteers are awesome,” she added.

“We couldn’t do this without them. They are just an integral part to the entire mission,” Walmsley emphasized.

They all work in different capacities, some even offering on-call medical services, but in the end, “We are whatever the kid needs us to be,” Dillavou pointed out.

Dillavou started volunteering in 2014. It was here at camp she became a companion to a boy named Noah.

“We had a great week and then I said, ‘What else do you need, you know, what can i do for you?’ and he said ‘I really wanna shave your head before I pass away.’ So I said ‘Great, I’m coming over this weekend!'” she described.

“And he shaved my head and it was great – just the crossover between inside of camp and outside of – it’s like a huge family, it’s incredible.”

Dillavou is proving this entire team of staff and volunteers are willing to go the extra mile to lift these children’s spirits.

“Just seeing the kids and their happy faces is the best part of the week,” Dillavou said.

“Elation and joy and peace and comfort and all the feel-goods for just knowing that these kids are able to come and have the best week of the year,” Walmsley added.

Camp Wapiyapi has been around for more than 20 years, and helped nearly two thousand children.

To find out how you can help donate, click here.

Jessica Barreto

Jessica Barreto

Jessica is a general assignment reporter at KOAA News 5. She joined the news team in November 2017.
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