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Camp Quality Seeking Companions for Campers

Gay Nell Barth
Camp Quality
Companions build relationships with the campers they are assigned to.

Camp Quality is seeking volunteer "companions," or camp counselors for the week-long July camp. Camp quality specializes in serving children who have cancer or are in remission.

Volunteers, called companions, are required to undergo a background check. They then complete a two 1/2 day sessions of training before the camp begins. Companions are matched up one-on-one with campers. "We do that because a lot of these children don't have good socialization skills," says Executive Director Alan Barth.

Barth and his wife Gay Nell, the Camp Director, run the Louisiana branch of Camp Quality, which is the only sleepover, week-long camp for children with cancer in Louisiana. The camp is located in Mer Rouge and has been operating for over 30 years.

Credit Gay Nell Barth / Camp Quality
Camp Quality
A camper proudly displays his sign, saying "shaped like a boot because we kicked cancer."

Gay Nell Barth tells the story of a young camper who first started visiting Camp Quality at the age of five. The camp directors were concerned at first because of how young and small the little girl was, but she jumped right in on the ropes course, in the canoes, and in the roller derby rink. "She was just so happy that she made everyone else happy." The little girl's sister, who was a little shy at first, also opened up and joined in on the fun. "When they come to camp, everybody's alike. It's a judgment-free zone," says Alan Barth.

More information about how to volunteer for Camp Quality is available on their website.