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SUMMERTON - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Camp Happy Days, a weeklong retreat for children with cancer and their families, to be postponed.
Held the week of July 4, Camp Happy Days has been a rewarding part of Clarendon County for 37 years. Thousands of children with cancer, family members and volunteers have trekked to Camp Bob Cooper on the shores of Lake Marion to put the challenges of cancer behind them and celebrate with a week packed with fun activities, meet new friends who have the same challenges they have and enjoy the great outdoors as only Clarendon County can offer.
"We hate to postpone it, but this virus has changed the way we do things," said local volunteer and fundraiser Bill Ellis. "These children look forward to this week, but the virus is preventing that."
Camp Happy Days Executive Director Cindy Hay Johnson said that her organization knows how important the camp is to the children and the community, but their safety is "our most important consideration."
"We know the joy and fun of the camp experience is important, so this year we are creating a virtual 'Camp in a Box' that will keep campers, their families and our volunteers safe and healthy."
Johnson said that the Camp in the Box will create a "wonderful sense of community where Camp Happy Days' kids and their camp friends can interact and play through activities and games."
The Camp in a Box will take place June 28 through July 4, the same week that Camp Happy Days was scheduled.
"The great news is that no one will have to leave the house!" Johnson added.
Ellis said camp coordinators hope to hold the camp in late summer or early fall and that several dates have been tentatively scheduled.
"We still need to raise the donations needed to hold the camp," Ellis said. "I know that times are challenging right now, but helping these children and seeing the happy smiles on their faces will make your donations very worthwhile."
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