Camp Simba 2014!

Camp Simba started in 2009 as collaboration between Duke-NUS Medical school and NUS Yong Loo Lin School Of Medicine (YLLSOM). Recognizing the emotional need for children whose relative has cancer, we realized that an illness not only affects the person with cancer but everyone around them with the most vulnerable individual being the children. Our camp aims to give children affected by a close relative’s cancer the opportunity to have fun and gain support by befriending their facilitators and other children in similar situations. In its sixth year running, our target audience extended to include not only children whose parents have cancer but children whose siblings have cancer as well.

Camp Simba 2014 saw a total of 65 participants with our theme being Superheroes – The hero within. We carefully chose the theme and storyline in hopes that the kids discover that they themselves are superheroes and have the power to overcome any obstacles that they may face in the future. With our various tie-ups we were able to pack our camp with fun-filled activities that revolved around teamwork and inner strength.

The campers had the opportunity to zip down the slopes on the Luge, have a scavenger hunt with station games and sit the Superhero-themed cable car to Sentosa Island. The carnival night this year saw the campers put their agility skills to the test with a Nerf gun tournament. Classic carnival games and a bouncy castle were also set up. On the last day, the kids enjoyed wet games before they washed up and prepared for the closing ceremony. The camp concluded with a performance put on by students from NUS YLLSOM and a dance by the campers themselves. Although the emotional strain of having a relative with cancer rages on, we hope that the children realize that they will always have a helping hand and an entire community whom they can fall back on and we look forward to see how the children have progressed during our reunions in September, November and March.

Each year, we strive to recruit a new set of campers to extend our reach to as many children as possible. Therefore, we were grateful to expand our partnership to Children’s Cancer Foundation who has greatly supported our cause by helping us recruit more children into Camp Simba. Although this means less space for campers to repeat Camp Simba, we still recognize the value of sustaining a Simba community, and have embarked to hold mega-reunions on the second night of the camp. The Mega-reunions brings back campers from previous years so that they can join us for a night of fun.

This year was also the first time we recruited back past campers as volunteers to help us with the game booths.

It is our hope that next year, more campers will return as volunteers and reinforce our sustainable Simba community

We are also unique in that we try to build a lasting relationship between our campers and facilitators that extends beyond the camp itself.  We hope that in future we would be able to look into supporting our campers in ways beyond our camp and working more closely with our partners to support our campers holistically.

Camp Simba would not have been possible without our dedicated group of volunteers comprising of facilitators, game masters, actors and a nurse who followed us throughout the camp.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our partners Children’s Cancer Foundation, HCA Hospice Care, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore Cancer Society and National University Cancer Institute, Singapore.

Special thanks also goes out to Village Hotel Changi for having us and our sponsors, Singhealth, Far East Hospitality, NUHS, Sentosa 4D Adventureland, Kiddom, Skyline Luge Sentosa, KFC, The Learning Lab, MVO Pte Ltd, Singapore Cable Car, Tim Ho Wan, Chewy Junior, Lollytalk, Resort World Sentosa, Ten Ten, My love bites, Chaebol Events and Goldbell Group.

Thank you for your support and making a difference to the lives of the children at Camp Simba 2014.