Hudson camp debuts Serving More Kids program
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Hudson – For Jackie Kane, owner and director of Hudson's Pompositticut Farm Day Camp, life (and work) on the farm is second nature. The camp sits on 60 acres of land purchased by her father, Roger, in 1965. It was here that Roger and his wife, Shirley, raised their 6 children – along with polled Hereford cattle, Suffolk sheep, chickens and horses. In addition, the farm has been acknowledged as a Massachusetts Horse Farm of Distinction, hosting thirty-six camp owned horses.
Pompositticut Farm Day Camp (PFDC) was started in 1980 by then Concord Academy student and the first 4-H Ambassador in Massachusetts, Jackie Kane. Though thought to be a strictly equestrian camp, PFDC offers a wide variety of activities including Project Soar (high & low ropes course),
swimming, nature and archery, creative arts, sports, and theater, dance and music. This summer the camp will unveil the “Shirley You Can” zip line in honor of Jackie's mother, Shirley, who passed from colon cancer last year.
Also in memory of Shirley, the camp will be unveiling the Serving More Kids (Shirley M. Kane) program. Serving More Kids provides children of cancer patients undergoing treatment during the summer with complete tuition coverage for a 2-week session of camp. The only cost to the family is a $150 administration fee. At this time, the Serving More Kids program has openings for five campers per session.
“Over the years,” said Jackie, “different programs at the camp have developed out of a need.”
Offering a reprieve to cancer patients and their children is one of those needs – a need that Jackie has learned through personal experience.
In January of 2012 Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She endured 7 months of chemotherapy which was followed by surgery and then another year of chemotherapy. She had radiation as well. During this time, as she watched her mother lose her battle to colon cancer, Jackie was fighting a battle of her own. Had it not been for the support of many, including life-long friends Connie Coffin and Ed & Donna Silva and her siblings, Mary Lou and David, Jackie said that she could not have “maintained” life throughout treatment. She has just recently completed chemotherapy.
While Jackie does not have children of her own, she hosts a group of young ladies (ages 19-22) from England who come to PFDC during the summer for the cultural and educational exchange opportunities offered there. Last summer, amidst chemotherapy sessions, Jackie realized just how difficult it was to “live life” with cancer – especially while hosting six guests in her home.
“I have personally become more aware of the hardships and challenges patients (and their families) face when undergoing chemotherapy,” said Jackie. “Managing one's home life, school and family is challenging itself in today's world, not to mention the added difficulties one experiences through the hardship of receiving such treatment.”
Serving More Kids was created to provide a wholesome camp experience for children who have a caregiver or parent who is currently undergoing cancer treatments during the summer. The program offers the child a reprieve from the stresses and worries at home while allowing the patient some time void of child responsibilities and time to focus on healing.
In memory of Shirley Kane, who devoted her life to her six children and lost her life to cancer, Serving More Kids is devoted to helping children of cancer patients enjoy a fun camp experience amidst the battle.
“We can's make the cancer experience go away, but we can offer a reprieve for both the cancer patient and his or her child,” said Jackie.
To Register for Serving More Kids visit Pompositticut Farm Day Camp on Facebook
For more information call 978-562-0968
To learn about Pompositticut Farm Day Camp visit www.pompositticutfarm.com
Visit Pompositticut Farm Day Camp on Facebook at facebook.com/pompositticutfarmdaycamp.
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