The Camp

Camp Circle O’ Friends was founded in 1987 by a group of individuals whose goal was to provide some fun and normalcy for children whose lives had been touched by cancer. The result is an annual four-day camp on the shores of Last Mountain Lake. Each year the children come from across the province to participate in camp. The campers meet at a central location in Saskatoon or Regina and are bussed out to Arlington Beach.

Our camp is for all children whose lives have been affected by cancer – this includes their brothers and sisters. Bereaved children are also invited to camp. Camp Circle O’ Friends is unique in that it takes all the children in the home between the ages of 6 – 18 years of age. This provides the parents a much-needed respite and an opportunity to go to a show, out for dinner or simply enjoy a quiet bubble bath.

Activities at camp include indoor and outdoor crafts, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, outdoor cooking, media production, water-skiing and tubing, a petting zoo and a variety of sports. Activities are scheduled throughout the day and evening activities include a sing-song wiener roast, a theme dance, fireworks, and the always popular Variety Night.

The children are cared for by a top-notch medical team, which includes four nurses and a physician. This dedicated group of individuals are on the job around the clock meeting the needs of the campers. The medical team is located in the Med Shed where they distribute all medication, tend to scraps, tummy aches and homesickness. Although the Med Shed is a vital part of camp, it remains low key and the children are free to enjoy the activities of camp even if they are on treatment during the four days.

The campers sleep in assigned cabins supervised by a Cabin Leader. All meals are served in the main dining hall and accompanied by camp songs, hope stories, laughter and awards for various accomplishments (ie: first fish caught). The theme of camp is also brought into the daily activities of camp such as backward day where campers wear their clothes backwards and eat dessert before the main course.

A total of 65 – 70 volunteers come from all over the province to staff the camp. There are 3 primary positions at camp: Cabin Leaders for each cabin, Recreation Leaders for each activity and Med Shed personnel. We also have One to Ones which are volunteers assigned to a particular camper who, due to their illness, may not be able to keep up with the rest of the group. When not at camp, many of these highly qualified volunteers work as nurses, doctors, teachers, youth leaders and social workers. Many of the volunteers come year after year with numerous volunteers celebrating 5, 10 and 15 years of Camp Circle O’ Friends service.