Friends from home who attend understand better.
In school everyone knows about my mom and there’re like “oh that’s the girl whose mom is dying” and stuff, and so they like treat me different. And my friend (who came with me) learned that I’m not like different, that I’m still the same as I was before.
L - Student
The way that I look at it is, like…they’re living a challenge. Their life is a challenge which they have no control over. And they come here and it’s a different challenge which they do have control over it. They..make the choice whether or not they want to try it or whether they don’t. And you know, however they succeed, even if it’s just a little bit, it’s a challenge that they’ve had control of and they’ve succeeded. I think it just kind of takes away from the… out of control (feeling) at home and they can come back..feeling successful.
S - Parent
The program compels youth to focus on the present.
I think the best part about the adventure was that they could sort of dive into it, it sort of let them not think about other things going on because they were focused. When you are doing something so active you sort of have to focus on concentrating and that sort of thing.
L - Parent
I look forward to my children participating in this wonderful program every year. They are encouraged, challenged and well cared for during the day. It is two days of the year they can put their fears behind them. Thank you to all for everything that you do. It is very much appreciated by my family.
Melinda - Parent
In alignment with our mission, the Family Connections Program appreciates the ability to use On Belay as a tool to help us in supporting, supplementing and empowering parents and children coping with cancer as a family. We aim to create an opportunity, through On Belay, for teens to connect with others in a similar family situation. . We hope the participants are able to use their experiences as a metaphor for overcoming challenges in their day-to-day lives as well as creating a space for parents to engage their children about coping as a family.
I saw the piece on WMUR’s Chronicle one night last week and felt compelled to write. What a wonderful thing this camp is, and what a terrific way to honor Crescentia’s memory. There is such a need for this, as the children of cancer patients are often forgotten. My mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer my senior year of high school and passed away my freshman year of college. My sister is 4 years younger than I. It was tough. Granted I was 18, but still needed a mom, as did my sister at 14. I wish one of my aunts or a family friend had stepped up to fill the void and mentor me. Anyway, I’m fine now, but boy, do I see the need for a place like On Belay to give these kids an outlet and a place to grieve, heal and feel like normal kids. There is nothing worse than feeling you’re all alone in the world. Keep up the good work and thank you for all you do.