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Camp Hobé held its first camp in the summer of 1985, as a function of the local American Cancer Society and Primary Children’s Hospital. Rachel Hunt, CCLS, served as camp director from 1988 until 1994. Christina Beckwith, PharmD, began as a camp volunteer in 1989 and became the camp director in 1995. When Camp Hobé incorporated as a separate 501c3 nonprofit in 2003, Christina assumed the role of the executive director for the organization.
Camp Hobé was held at the Camp Red Cliffs site near Huntsville through 1994. Since 1995, the program has been held at Camp Wapiti in Settlement Canyon near Tooele, Utah. The Utah Elks organization owns and manages the Camp Wapiti site for Camp Hobé and other local health camps, working closely with our staff to continually improve the site.
The first camp program was held in 1985 with only fifteen campers in a single session. At present, there are three camp sessions serving more than 250 kids each summer. The sessions include: Kids week – a 5-day overnight camp for children aged 7-11 years; Teen week – a 5-day overnight camp for teens aged 12-19 years; and Day camp / Hobé Juniors – 2-day camp for children aged 4-6 years (only the 6 & 7-year olds stay overnight). Campers include children and teens aged 4-19 years who are patients with cancer (or similarly treated illnesses) or their siblings. The patient must currently be treated with immunosuppressive therapy (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunosuppressives) or be within 3 camp seasons of their final immunosuppressive treatment. Camp Hobé serves children and teens from within the referral area for PCH, which includes Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and some parts of Colorado.
Camp Hobé is administered and run by several part-time staff members (2 part-time year-round staff, 5 part-time seasonal staff). Our staff works with almost 200 volunteers during camp and in the off-season. In 1986, Camp Hobé was awarded accreditation by the American Camp Association, the standard in camp program excellence and safety. In 2011, Camp Hobé was designated as a Gold Ribbon camp by the Children’s Oncology Camp Association International (COCAI), for meeting additional standards of excellence for oncology camping programs. Camp Hobé has maintained both designations continually ever since. Each year, staff members and key volunteers attend the COCAI conference and other trainings where they receive additional training in programming, recreational techniques, and risk management for this very special group of campers.