A Very Special Summer Camp Experience

Posted on Jul 20, 2015

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Karen Montero (far right) with her fellow camp counselors Erica and Tatiana.

Karen Montero, the Interim Urgent Care Coordinator with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, recently spent a week volunteering at Camp Okizu, a free summer camp for children and families that have been affected by childhood cancer. Karen has been a cabin counselor two years running and she loves being able to supervise children while they participate in fun activities they normally wouldn’t be able to do.

“It makes me happy being with other people wanting to make a difference by impacting these children’s lives in a positive way,” she says. “Each year that I leave Camp Okizu, I’m left with more little footprints in my heart. That’s what keeps me coming back!”

Located in Berry Creek, CA, (70 miles north of Sacramento), the permanent camp provides 24/7 care while kids get to go swimming, boating, fishing and fall asleep looking up to the open sky filled with stars.

“During the closing camp fire, the kids are able to pay a tribute to their friends that they have met at camp who have sadly passed by placing friendship bracelets on branches of the trees in the forest,” says Karen. “It’s by far one of the most heartwarming things I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

Karen is especially impressed with the wonderful and friendly medical staff (doctors, nurses and social workers) who volunteer their time to make sure all the kids are healthy and safe during their time at camp.

“I get to take away wonderful memories and friendships that would be hard to get just anywhere,” she says. “This place is absolutely special to me.”

Interested in Volunteering?
Karen says Camp Okizu is always looking for volunteers that are enthusiastic and passionate about helping children. Learn more about Camp Okizu at: http://okizu.org/volunteer/ .

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