We look forward to summer vacation all year long. It is not uncommon for many of us to start thinking about where we’d like to take the next family summer vacation as soon as the first autumn leaf falls. As much as we look forward to our summer vacations, the residents at St. Augustine look forward to theirs. Each year in August, we take approximately 30 nursing home and assisted living residents on our annual Happy Campers trip to Camp Cheerful in Strongsville for a week. An additional 25-40 will join them each day for “Day Camp.” This week spent relaxing and enjoying the sunshine in the great outdoors is our residents’ summer vacation.
The staff is always amazed at the transformation that each resident displays during and after our Happy Campers Week. The fresh air, the freedom, and just being away from “home” seems to give residents new energy and more independence. In fact, residents who typically rely on staff to do things like make their bed and dress them start doing these things on their own, without being asked. They come back from camp saying, “I felt normal again!”
Campers enjoy a variety of planned and unplanned activities: fishing, playing cards and games, arts and crafts, swimming, horse therapy, roasting marshmallows around the campfire, entertainment and sing-alongs. They live life to the fullest – in spite of age, illness or disability.
Why we do it…
The total cost to St. Augustine to provide our annual camp-out is just over $18,000 for the week, however there is no charge to the resident or their family. This includes the camp, additional staffing, transportation, food, etc. This is a costly and labor-intensive endeavor. So why do we do it? Because it’s the right thing to do as part of our mission to promote quality of life. This is evidenced when not even one resident asks for pain or anxiety medication throughout the week!
We need YOU to make this experience a reality!
Make a difference
Your financial support of this program provides a special quality of life for our residents.
Donate supplies needed for camp (i.e., Desserts, snacks, condiments, chips, bread & buns, eggs, peanut butter, jelly, syrup, fishing poles, visors / baseball caps, gift cards to Giant Eagle, Walmart, Marc’s, Aldis, GFS to purchase needed items, etc.)
The best part of vacation or camping is being able to do what you want when you want. Many of our residents need assistance. They need you to help them get around the camp; participate in various activities (fishing for example); or just play cards and visit. The more volunteers each day ~ the more independent each resident can be to create their day as they wish. Call 216-939-7601
Join us at Friends & Family Night
The grand finale of the week is our Friends & Family Night on the Thursday of Happy Campers Week. The evening includes an outdoor Mass at 4 p.m. followed by a family cookout, campfire and marshmallow roast. Everyone is welcome to attend!