Children's Oncology Camp Foundation, Inc.
Camp Mak-A-Dream was founded in 1991 by Harry and Sylvia Granader, a couple from Detroit Michigan, who were involved in building a Ronald McDonald house in their hometown. After meeting the children in the hospital there, they decided that they wanted to give them a chance to see a working ranch in Montana. Harry and Sylvia just happened to own one — the 6C Cattle Company in Gold Creek.
In 1995, after building a coalition of business associates and community volunteers in Missoula and raising funds to construct the Camp facility on the 87 acres of donated land in Gold Creek, Harry’s dream of bringing sick children to see a working Montana ranch became a reality. The Camp welcomed 46 kids with cancer that year for a single week-long camp session. By 1996 the number of summer Camp programs increased to four. In 2015, the Camp hosted 11 week-long sessions serving 536 campers.
Today, cost-free programs are offered throughout the year to children, teens, young adults, and women with cancer, as well as programs for children who have a sibling or parent with cancer. Since opening its doors, Camp Mak-A-Dream has welcomed more than 6,500 participants from across the United States, Canada, and several countries.
The mission of the Children’s Oncology Camp Foundation is to provide Camp Mak-A-Dream as a medically supervised, cost-free Montana experience, in an intimate community setting, to children, young adults, and families affected by cancer. Thousands of young people are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. Life is interrupted for children who are being treated for cancer by frequent doctor visits and hospitalizations.
The very medicines and radiation treatments that save lives also subject young people to nausea, fevers, developmental disabilities, and blood transfusions. Kids miss countless days of school and are often isolated from friends; developmental milestones are lost. In short, there is much that makes a young cancer patient feel “different.”
Camp Mak-A-Dream believes that joy and friendship can be catalysts for healing. Camp Mak-A-Dream provides a week of normalcy for this very special population. Participants take part in activities such as art, archery, swimming, zip line, and climbing wall surrounded by people who know just what they are going through. There is also an opportunity to share experiences and talk with one another about their cancer journey in cabin and fireside chats. The Camp includes an on-site health center staffed with physicians and nurses that work behind the scenes to ensure that campers can participate fully in all that Camp has to offer. Families also benefit as they see their children get respite from the grueling task of treatment and often comment that the week at camp is the best week of their child’s life.
Camp Mak-A-Dream is known throughout the United States as a leading camp for young people with cancer and enhances the image and perception of Montana.
Children’s Oncology Camp Foundation
PO Box 1450
2110 S. Johnson Street
Missoula, MT 59806-1450