Camp Happy Days brightens summer for young cancer patients
By Pam Bryant
Nearly 200 young campers and a host of volunteers come to Camp Happy Days for fun and adventure each year during July 4th week. During this time, the R.M. Cooper 4-H Leadership Center in Summerton is transformed into a magical place for children with cancer and their siblings.
This year, some children came knowing it could be their last time, yet their spirits couldn’t have been higher as they enjoyed the circus-themed camp complete with a flying trapeze, an elephant, tiger cubs and clowns. It was a chance for them to escape their everyday world of medical treatments and feeling self-conscious because they have lost their hair.
Most of all, Camp Happy Days is a time for carefree laughter and loads of fun. The program is operated by Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute in partnership with Happy Days and Special Times, a non-profit organization based in Charleston that serves children with cancer and their families, www.hdstkids.org/.