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Respite and Camp Services

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Not sure what a respite or camp service is? These organizations provide one or more in a range of programs and services such as camp facilities, organized recreation for cancer patients of different ages or respite care to provide caregivers a short interval of rest.

Disclaimer: These resources are regularly reviewed to ensure that links still work correctly and the resources listed continue to be helpful to our visitors. If you find that a link isn't working or information is incorrect or if you'd like to have your own organization listed here, please email Because we want to be sure that our visitors find the most relevant resources, we encourage you to visit the organization's website for more detailed information.

Population served: Everyone in the U.S. (check the website for availability in your area) 

Mission: 2-1-1 is the telephone number of a call center that offers information and provides referrals to health and human services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. Services vary from community to community.  

Examples of service referrals include:
  • Support for children, youth and families: childcare, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services.
  • Basic human need resources: food banks, clothing, shelters, rent assistance and utility assistance
  • Physical and mental health resources: medical information lines, crisis intervention services, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention
  • Employment support: unemployment benefits, financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance and education programs
  • Support for older Americans and persons with disabilities: home healthcare, adult daycare, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, transportation and homemaker services.

 2-1-1 Canada
Population served:
Certain sections of Canada (check the website for availability in your area)

Mission: 2-1-1 is the telephone number of a call center that offers information and provides referrals to health and human services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. Services vary from community to community.

Examples of service referrals include:

  • Health services and support
  • Financial and social assistance
  • Housing and utility help
  • Food assistance and meal programs
  • Senior services and home care
  • Government program assistance
  • Parenting and family programs
  • Disability support services
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Newcomer services
  • Mental health support

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center (ARCH) 
Population served: Patients and caregivers in the U.S. needing assistance in finding respite care in their community

Mission: To assist and promote the development of quality respite and crisis care programs in the U.S.; to help families locate respite and crisis care services in their communities; and to serve as a strong voice for respite in all forums

  • Offers a website tool, National Respite Locator, to help caregivers and professionals locate respite services in their community
  • Offers A Consumer's Guide for Family Caregivers with information and guidance regarding the various types of respite care and where they are found.

Camp Kesem
Contact: 260-225-3736
Population served: Children ages 6 to 16 who have a parent either in remission from cancer, currently battling cancer, or that have a parent that has passed away from cancer in the U.S.

Mission: To provide children affected by a parent's cancer with a supportive, lifelong camp community that recognizes and understands their unique needs; in addition, to empower college students to make a difference and build invaluable leadership skills by developing and managing every aspect of their Camp Kesem chapter.

  • Provides a free week of summer camp as well as opportunities to get together throughout the year with the Camp Kesem local communities we create.

Camp Mak-A-Dream
Population served: Children (beginning from age 6) and adults affected by cancer in the U.S.

Mission: To provide a medically supervised, cost-free Montana experience in an intimate, community setting to children, young adults and families affected by cancer.

  • Offers ten camping programs throughout the year to children, teens, young adults and women with cancer, as well as programs for children who have a sibling or a parent with cancer
  • Provides onsite speakers that address a number of topics such as grief and loss, relationships, employment, etc.

Cindy's Comfort Camp
Contact: 518-926-6515
Population Served: Children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced death or serious illness of parent or sibling.

Mission: To provide a free, weeklong camp for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced death or serious illness of parent or sibling

First Descents
Contact: 303-945-2490
Population served: Young adults with cancer in the U.S. diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 39 years; also cancer fighters and survivors ages 40 to 49

Mission: Offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same.

  • Offers various levels of adventure programs such as whitewater kayaking, rock climbing or surfing. Participants cover their own cost of travel. All food, lodging, gear and instruction are included with the activity.
  • Travel scholarships may be available.

Friends of Man
Contact: 303-798-2342
Population served: Children, families, elderly, the disabled and those who fall through the safety net of available assistance

Mission: Friends of Man, the charitable arm of the Institute for the New Man, gives help to people who find themselves in a situation where they have nowhere else to turn.

  • Each case is considered on an individual basis in relation to guidelines which accompany the application
  • Referrals are accepted from professionals such as social workers, teachers, health providers, clergy
  • Examples of help provided include, but not limited to: Mobility Equipment: (prostheses, wheelchairs, van lifts, and modifications, ramps, home modifications); Medical Equipment and Procedures such as Hearing Aids, Dentures, Glasses; Clothing for Children, Food, Short-term Daycare, Prescriptions, Cobra/Health Insurance.

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
Contact: 860-429-3444 (camp); 203-772-0522 (administartive)
Population served: Children ages 7 to15 years with a serious medical condition and their families

Mission: To ensure that every child with a serious medical condition has the chance to experience the world of possibilities that camp has to offer; to provide a unique healing experience to kids in need and their families.

  • Dedicated to providing "a different kind of healing" to seriously ill children and their families throughout the Northeast, free of charge, at our camp facility in Ashford, Connecticut.
  • Campers come from many different states in the U.S. and even different countries
  • COPE (Change of Pace Experience) is offered to parents of first-time campers. It is free of charge and is held off site at a hotel and retreat center. The weekend not only provides respite, renewal, laughter and fun, but also an opportunity for couples to reconnect with each other while also forming new and lasting friendships with other camp parents.

The Imus Ranch    
Contact: 575-421-4687
Population served: Children in the U.S. 11 to 17 years of age, who have received treatment for childhood cancer or have a blood disease (cannot have a central line or port); doctors and nurses interested in volunteering

Mission: The Imus Ranch is an authentic working cattle ranch in New Mexico, located fifty miles northeast of Santa Fe. Founded by Don Imus and Deirdre Imus in 1998, the ranch was conceived and designed with the sole purpose of providing the experience of the great American cowboy to children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer or a serious blood disorder. The ranch is available for one week stays in June, July and August. Participation is free, airfare is included.   

Well Spouse Association
Contact: 800-838-0879
Population served: Caregivers, professionals, general public

Mission: To advocate for and address the needs of individuals caring for a chronically ill and/or disabled spouse/partner. We offer peer to peer support and educate health care professionals and the general public about the special challenges and unique issues "well" spouses face every day.

  • Coordinates national network of support groups, hosts website, provides publications, holds conferences, and organizes respite weekends for caregivers.
last updated on Thursday, February 26, 2015