Idaho camp helps kids battling medical conditions gain independence, and become kids again

Camp River Run, in Cascade, allows kids with medical conditions and life-threatening illnesses to spend four days without their parents, and to become kids again. Courtesy: Camp River Run

Twenty local kids now have new-found confidence, and independence, after four days at camp. Camp River Run is an oasis for kids battling medical conditions, or life-threatening illnesses.

Many times, Executive Director Shane Bauges says, the campers have never left mom and dad's side, because constant medication, specific diets, and other limitations keep them from just being kids.

But at Camp River Run, the campers spend four full days playing, and having a ball with other kids just like them.

And they're safe too. Bauges tells KBOI 2News, each camper gets his/her own counselor, who CPR and First Aid certified. There are also three full-time nurses, and local medical students on hand 24 hours a day.

One camper tells KBOI 2News, she's grown so much in the five years she's attended the Cascade camp.

"I used to be really shy," Morgan said. "I'm a lot less shy now."

Another camper's mom tells us her son has never left her side before attending Camp River Run.

"Just to see how close he is with this other little kid is neat... to see him touching... and to have his face painted... he's never had his face painted, nor has he ever wanted to," she said.

For mom, it wasn't easy letting her son, Von, go. But she says there aren't many opportunities like this for her son, and knows the experience was a positive one for the entire family.

"You can tell (from pictures) how good of a time he's having," she said.

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