By Noach Haller
I recently joined Kids of Courage on their annual summer trip. What an adventure it was! Spending eight days with 350 people who are as close as family is a unique experience that words cannot describe. There were smiles everywhere and the joy is contagious.
This year’s destination was Las Vegas. Sounds like a strange destination for a summer trip? Yes, 110 degree weather and the desert climate might hold some people back — especially a group including over 100 children and young adults with serious medical challenges. But not Kids of Courage.
Kids of Courage is a groundbreaking volunteer-centric organization, dedicated to the support of medically fragile children and their families, day and night, 365 days a year. Founded in 2008, Kids of Courage is committed to changing the way people look at illness, and opening up a world of hope and opportunity for every such child and family, no matter how serious the diagnosis.
Each summer the Kids of Courage staff creates a traveling hospital and selects a destination around the country. Volunteer staff include doctors, nurses, several medics and other medical professionals, as well as a full media and programming team. Twenty logistics personnel work 24 hours a day ensuring that everyone is safe, has something cold to drink, gets lifted on and off the bus in the proper way, and so much more.
From the moment of arrival, it was one adventure after another; Dune Buggies, Adventuredome, swimming in the Olympic size pool at the beautiful Westin Lake Las Vegas, zipping down the water slide, Madame Tussauds, Cirque du Soleil, Speedvegas, an exclusive David Copperfield show and so much more!
Why do all this, you may ask? Because Kids of Courage gives the campers, also known as Couragers, the opportunity to do everything you and I might do, no matter which disabilities they may have. Kids of Courage is about what the campers can do and not what they can’t do. It’s about going beyond physical limitations and living life to its fullest.
We are called Kids of Courage in part because it may take courage to attend a trip like this – both for the campers as well as the staff. But once you are there, every need is taken care of, and the excitement and fun is ’round the clock. From wake-up to bed time, there is an energy you can feel from all of the participants.
Now that this adventure is over, the next one is already in the works. We are looking forward to the winter ski trip and the Miami Marathon in January 2019, where staff, family, and Couragers will enjoy another life changing adventure. Join us, change lives, and show your support for hundreds of inspiring individuals.