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Celebrating Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month at Camp Laughter

In honor of National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month, Arkansas Children’s is hosting Camp Laughter on Aug. 5 at Camp Aldersgate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The one-day event is for kids ages 5-18 with cleft and craniofacial differences. It’s a free camp designed for families to connect with other families who are going through similar situations. Lucia Wesley, RN, is a Camp Laughter expert. She is also an ENT Specialty Nurse and the Cleft Lip and Palate Team Coordinator. Lucia shared some thoughts about this fun day.  

What is the mission/purpose of Camp Laughter?

It is a camp just for them! It’s a bonding time for parents and kids. Plus, it’s a place without any judgement, just FUN! Parents can meet other parents and discuss feelings and/or thoughts they have and be understood. Kids can meet other kids who look similar and feel included and welcome. They are also able to interact with their cleft/craniofacial team specialists, which allows each child to see them as an everyday person and not just someone they associate with clinic visits and surgeries, therefore decreasing fear and anxiety with upcoming care.

 

What type of activities can campers expect?

Kids start the day by participating in crafts, followed by a tribe meeting. They break up into four groups for activities such as fishing, sling shot art, leather stamping and petting zoo. They will finish the day with swimming, followed by an ice cream party and talent show.

 

How does Camp Laughter help kids understand their cleft or craniofacial differences?

Camp empowers them to be happy and proud of who they are, and allows them to know they are not alone. They interact with their surgeons at a fun level, which allows the kids to their as a regular person and not just someone they associate painful surgeries with.

To RSVP for Camp Laughter, email camplaughter@archildrens.org.

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