I was compensated for this post. All opinions formed are mine. I don't recommend products, companies, etc to my readers unless it's something I truly believe in.
I think we can all agree that every child deserves the chance to be a kid and enjoy life. That's why we have child labor laws, why toy companies flourish, and why so many parenting books have sections or chapters on letting kids play.
But for kids with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses who spend much of their time at doctors' offices, therapies, and in the hospital, they don't get many opportunities to be a regular kid. They often feel isolated from their peers and lonely.
That's where Victory Junction comes in.
Victory Junction is a camp located in Randleman, North Carolina and is open to kids between the ages of six and 16 at no cost to the campers or their families. It provides the chance for chronically or seriously ill children to take a break and just be a kid while in a safe and medically-sound environment. Their belief statement says it all:
"At Victory Junction, we believe that every child, no matter their illness or diagnosis, should enjoy normal childhood experiences."
The Nascar themed Victory Camp was started in 2004 by the racecar-driving Petty family in memory of 19 year old Adam Petty, who lost his life in a racing accident. Adam had the opportunity to visit a similar camp in Florida and dreamed of opening one in North Carolina before his passing. His parents were able to fulfill his dream by opening Victory Camp. The camp has hosted over 23,000 campers since it opened. Programs are also available for families and kids 17-22.
Some of the illnesses served at the Victory Junction are:
- Bleeding Disorders
- Burn Survivors
- Cerebral Palsy
- Craniofacial Anomalies
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Genetic Disorders
- Heart Disease
- Immunologic Disorders
- Kidney Disorders
- Lung Disease
- Neurological Disorders
- Physical Disabilities
- Rheumatologic Disorders
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Skin Disorders
Each camper's case is carefully reviewed by the camp's medical team to ensure that the proper care continues during their time at Victory Junction. The medical facility at the camp is called The Body Shop, keeping with the Nascar theme.
Reading what some of the campers have said about their time at Victory Junction really shows how special the experience is for them.
- “I was diagnosed a few months ago and this was the first time I was able to forget about my illness.” - Camper Emma, 16
- “When you’re diagnosed everything is taken from you, but everything is given back to you here. “ - Anonymous Camper
- “It makes me the happiest when I get the chance to come to this camp.” - Camper Chloe, 9
It's not just the campers that benefit though. These testimonials from parents of campers demonstrate the far-reaching effect that it has.
- “Victory Junction is a blessing to my family because it provided my daughter with opportunities that she may not have gotten elsewhere and time to go away from home and make friends with kids who had similar physical struggles and not feel different.”
- “It's a blessing for parents especially those that are full time care givers. The break is short but the best gift imaginable. We can sleep in, go to the grocery store without a game plan, simple things nothing major.”
@VictoryJunction is a camp where chronically/seriously ill kids can have fun & forget about their diagnosis.
Victory Junction is accredited by the American Camping Association and a member of SeriousFun Children’s Network, founded by Paul Newman. It is a 501(c)(3) not for profit charity supported through the generosity of individual, corporate and foundation donations. You can find out more about supporting Victory Junction here.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Victory Junction as much as I did! Drop a comment and let me know if you know a child who would enjoy being a camper there!