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Until there is a cure, there is a camp.


Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do began in 1992 as a one-week resident camp for 38 children surviving cancer. In less than three years, over 100 kids a week were hiking, swimming and playing their way from the worries of cancer. We are also a long-standing member of Children’s Oncology Camping Association International, which allows for networking and program expansion opportunities and helps in providing a safe and memorable experience for campers.

Our mission: We are committed to provide opportunity and support to every child living with cancer, their families and communities regardless of their medical circumstances through ongoing quality recreational activities.

From the day camp is over, Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do campers are already looking forward to next summer’s week of fun—and normalcy. The campers have lived through cancer and the aftermath of physical and emotional concerns; they know they are just a little bit different from the other kids. Here at Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do, each camper experiences seven days of freedom and acceptance.

In the fellow cancer survivors, campers find friends who understand the disease, but rise above it, unhindered and able to do anything they want to do. Watcha-Wanna-Do? Do it all at camp!

  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Archery
  • Swimming
  • Crafts
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Team building activities
  • High-ropes course
  • Special Events: hot-air balloon rides, hayrides, canoe trips and more

After that list, we know the kids are excited at the possibility of spending a week away from home, or the hospital. But we want parents to know that camp is a home away from home, and is just as safe. All programs are medically supervised with pediatric oncology nurses present at all times.

When needed, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist is available and children may receive their medical treatment at camp as appropriate. All counselors and staff receive additional training to best meet the special needs of the cancer patients. As a concerned parent, rest and relax knowing your child is safe and protected. The campers are having a wonderful time making memories and creating a positive change in their outlook and attitude.

Camp programs are free to participants and held at YMCA Camp Potawotami, surrounded by woods, meadows, lowlands and Blackman Lake. The camp is offered for children ages 7 through high school graduation, and each camper is able to bring a sibling along for the week they are at camp.

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ziplining at camp happy camper at camp Little girl at camp Girl at camp learning archery
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