Sea Kayaking with Young Adult Cancer Patients
Do you remember your first multi-day Sea Kayak trip? Do you remember the eager anticipation with a touch of anxiety? Do you remember wondering if you could “keep up” with the group? Did you look out over the water as you began paddling and wonder, what will the next 5 days bring?
Now add to that, if you can imagine, that you are only 10 months out of treatment for lymphoma. Or imagine that your anti-cancer meds cause sudden epileptic seizures. Imagine getting into the boat with your prosthetic leg because bone cancer caused you to have an amputation. Now imagine you are 18 years old.
Providing an experience where young adult cancer survivors can challenge the boundaries of their lives, try something they thought would be impossible, and grow as young adults is the goal of The Goodtimes Project’s - Kayak Adventure Camp.
Twelve young adults, ages 17 – 25, are joined by volunteer counselors, medical staff, and the outfitter’s guides for a 5 day trip in the San Juan Islands. The goal of the trip is to provide an opportunity for young survivors to expand their vision from being a cancer victim to being a person who had cancer and can move on in their lives.
The community grows together by living and paddling together. Participants are given leadership tasks, such as being the contact with the guides to plan the route for the day and communicate to other participants the plans. They also share in the cooking and other “camp life” activities. By the end of the time, outlooks are changed and new directions found in the lives of many.
The Kayak Adventure Camp has been in existence since 2001. It was previously sponsored and funded by the American Cancer Society. In 2013, the Cancer Society announced a national shift, eliminating funding for programs not directly associated with research. As a result, financial support for all camping programs nationwide, including the Kayak Camp, was eliminated.
A group of local volunteers stepped up, formed a new 501(c)3, and began The Goodtimes Project. As of January 2014, The Goodtimes Project supports the Kayak Adventure Camp and two resident camp sessions for 7 – 17 year olds, Camp Goodtimes on Vashon Island.
This is a crucial transition period. More than ever, we need your help.
The Kayak Adventure Camp is provided at no cost to the participants. It costs $17,000, or $1,400 per survivor, to fund Kayak Camp. The Goodtimes Project is dedicated to keeping camp cost-free for young-adult cancer survivors and to that end, we are asking for your support.
Help us continue this life changing experience by donating today in support of Kayak Camp. You can make your donation online at www.thegoodtimesproject.org, and designate your donation “in honor of kayak camp”.
Or, you can mail your donation to:
The Goodtimes Project
4616 25th Ave. NE PMB 461
Seattle WA, 98105
You know the power of paddling and how it can help people grow mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually. Please help us keep the Kayak Adventure Camp operating so these young adults have the same opportunities to grow through this life affirming experience.
Thank you, and paddle on!