Camp for sick kids

In the past 6 years I have had the opportunity to give time to a number of non-profit agencies. None has been more rewarding than the Zajac Ranch. This facility on the shores of Stave Lake in the Fraser Valley opened in June 2004. The mission of the ranch is to provide camp experience to children with medical issues that would keep them from attending a typical camp.

The site was formerly a corrections facility and is ideal for this use. The buildings are well situated for safety and access and have been beautifully updated. The lakefront affords opportunity for swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. There is a riding stable and archery area, and a ropes course and amphitheatre are in the works for 2005. There is a gymnasium, which allows for indoor activity on rainy days.

During the summer of 2004, a number of medical groups enjoyed the Zajac experience. Groups included children with cranio-facial disorder, seizure disorders, eating disorders, and kidney disease. On-site medical care was provided by the camp nurse. Physician and hospital services were available in Maple Ridge, approximately 25 minutes away. This worked well for the groups we had, which were small and medically stable. In the future we hope to include children who may require an on-site physician, and are planning a well-equipped medical clinic to support a higher level of care. In order to do this without creating financial barriers to access, we are looking to the medical community for support in the form of time and talent. Many physicians consider volunteering overseas, but can’t make it work logistically. Well, here is an opportunity to contribute to a priceless experience for a child with medical challenges, right in your own backyard! Families are welcome to make a vacation of it. The children of medical staff who attended last year loved their time at the ranch. We also need your help in letting parents and local agencies supporting children and families know about this opportunity for children.

If you would like to know more, we’d love to hear from you.

—Margaret Corbett, MD
Volunteer Medical Director
Zajac Ranch

Margaret Corbett, MD. Camp for sick kids. BCMJ, Vol. 47, No. 1, January, February, 2005, Page(s) 11 - Letters.

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