Camp Heart Connection® is a magical place where campers affected by childhood cancer and their families have a secure environment to connect, grow and create lifelong memories.

Camp is a safe place where everyone is given the opportunity to meet others who understand what they’re going through, regardless of where they are in their journey.

A true summer camp experience with activities including exploring the great outdoors, creating new friendships and so much more.

Camp builds confidence and a sense of belonging through trust, community, and empowering experiences. Once a camper comes to camp, whether for one session or for an entire childhood, the camper will forever be a part of the Camp Heart Connection family.

Camp Heart Connection has four core values, also known as B.E.S.T.

Belonging – Camp is a family where you can connect with others who understand what you are going through.

Empower – Camp provides opportunities to build confidence and experience everything that camp has to offer.

Security – Camp has a culture of safety, respect and emotional well-being.

Trust – Camp expects everyone to do the right thing and to take care of each other.

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dancing at camp

A full weeklong Oncology Camp is for childhood cancer warriors (on or off treatment) to enjoy traditional summer camp activities like rock climbing, zip-lining, and arts and crafts, as well as unique Camp Heart Connection traditions like Wish Night and Aunt Fifi. Trained staff and medical professionals are on-site 24/7.

Camp Heart Connection Oncology and Siblings Camps are held at the Des Moines Y Camp in Boone, Iowa – a beautiful and picturesque area along the Des Moines River.

child getting ready to zipline

So often, a child diagnosed with cancer receives much of the attention from family and friends during the journey. Sibling Camp gives siblings a chance to experience a week of all the same fun camp activities just for them. Camp Heart Connection Sibling Camp allows kids to be surrounded by others who have been through similar journeys, too.

Camp Heart Connection Oncology and Siblings Camps are held at the Des Moines Y Camp in Boone, Iowa – a beautiful and picturesque area along the Des Moines River.

family campers in canoes

The whole family gets to join the fun at Family Camp, a weekend stay and an opportunity to connect with other families. The relaxing weekend includes traditional camp activities, sightseeing, campfires, s’mores and precious quality time together. CCC offers Family Camp twice a year with one held in the spring and one held in the fall.

teens in a big wooden wheel at teen camp

At Teen Camp, kids 13+ who have had cancer and/or their siblings get a weekend to connect with peers who can relate to their journeys while enjoying fun Camp Heart Connection activities and traditions.

campers at the blank park zoo during day camp

Kids can come and enjoy fun activities without the overnight stay at Day Camp in Johnston, Iowa. Weekdays are filled with field trips, crafts, snacks and quality time connecting with others who understand what it’s like to be on a childhood cancer journey, whether their own or their sibling’s.

photo of LITs tie-dying at camp

Camp Heart Connection’s Leaders In Training (LIT) Program is designed to educate campers on how to become a camp counselor upon high school graduation.

Oncology and Sibling campers are eligible to become LITs if they’ll be entering their junior or senior year of high school. Campers will not be able to attend their final year of camp as an LIT, – only as a camper.

Through an application and interview process, up to seven female and seven male campers from each camp session will be selected to be LITs. They’ll have a week of combined virtual education before camp. Oncology campers who are selected to be LITs will spend a week at Sibling Camp, while Sibling campers who are selected will spend a week at Oncology Camp.

While LITs will, without question, bond with others in their session, the primary objective is to give back to the campers. Instead of just participating, they’ll be facilitating games, activities, debriefs and more.

We want LITs to learn how to initiate meaningful relationships with campers. The program will build on characteristics needed to do this, such as belonging, empowering, security, and trust.

Questions? Email the CCC Camp Team.

I was happy because I made new friends and had a lot of fun with all the stuff we did. I want to come to Day Camp again!

We had a BLAST as a family – perfect amount of activities to choose from and down time to just hang out and play. The kids are so excited for Oncology and Sibling Camp this summer because they got a little taste at Family Camp. Thank you for a great experience!