NEOSHO, Mo. — It’s Camp Week at Camp Quality Ozarks, where kids with cancer can just be kids.

Camp Quality supports children with cancer or who have a family member diagnosed with cancer. This week marks the first camp week since 2019, with the theme “better together,” now that they are able to be in-person again.

“These children, 51 weeks out of the year sometimes, are in treatment in the hospitals. Going, you know, taking medicine, going through stuff no one should have to go through, especially children. So, our goal this week, Camp Week, is truly to just let them be kids. Do stuff that maybe they don’t normally get to do. Have fun. Meet other kiddos that are just like them, and it’s just truly an amazing experience. And it’s priceless for us companions and staff, to be able to be with them. We are truly honored to get to do it,” said Kristin Patterson, Executive Director, Camp Quality Ozarks.

The campers are given a one-on-one companion, providing support throughout their time at Camp Quality.

“We’ve had so many moments that I would just call tender moments where they just share things, and you realize they have to grow up really, really fast. And, we just want them to be able to stay kids and be kids at this camp and that’s the message, and the goal of what we’re trying to do, and obviously, that impacts me because it just shows, it just reminds us what’s most important,” said Justin, Camper Companion.

They’ll play games all week, eat ice cream, do tie-dye crafts, dance, and go swimming and fishing.

“Well, I’ve gotten to do some fishing. Yesterday I did some swimming, that was really fun I liked it,” said Brayden, Camper.

“Like, I got like this size,” said Beckham, Camper.

Long-time camper Rylee loved Camp Quality after attending many summers. She passed away last month, but her legacy lives on at Camp Quality through her passions.

“We have a special flower and gift shop in honor of Rylee because all she wanted to do was give back, and be able to come to camp as a volunteer,” said Patterson.